After a Divorce or Separation parents do not always agree on where their child will live. In some cases the decision must be made by the court in favour of one of the parents. This is done in the form of a residence order.
A Residence Order will decide where the child will live for most of their time, but it does not affect the parental responsibility or contact rights of either parent Ki Residences. The Resident parent must still allow their child to see the non-resident parent.
It is a common practice to make a Contact Order at the same time as a Residence Order to ensure that the non-resident parent will get contact. This order will set out the contact arrangements: How much time will be spent with the other parent, where will it happen.
An alternative to a Residence and a Contact Order is to make a shared residence order. This will state when the child will live with each parent. Common cases are when a child lives with one parent a week or a fortnight at a time alternatively.
A child’s opinion will be taken into account, but it will not be the deciding factor. If the child is mature enough to fully understand the situation going on around him then his opinion will have more weight. However, ultimately it is not the child’s decision and the court will decide what is best in consideration of the child’s welfare.