Here is an overview about divorce and separation matters involving children.  The terms explained are…

  • Residence
  • Contact

Divorce & Separation Children Matters

The arrangements for any children of a divorcing or separating couple are covered by the Children Act.  Primarily, this states that the court must always treat the welfare of the children involved in a divorce, dissolution or separation as paramount.  The act describes parental responsibilities rather than parental rights.  Such parental responsibilities include…

  • Protection & Maintenance
  • Schooling
  • Representation

It should be noted that it is always best to come to an agreement on these matters before going to court (for example through mediation or collaborative law) rather than having to live with a decision imposed by a judge.  Such an imposed decision would follow recommendations from a CAFCASS (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) officer.

The court is able to determine with which partner the children of a divorcing or separating couple should live.  This is known as a Residence order.  This used to be known as ‘Custody’.

The court is also able to determine contact arrangements between the children and the partner who does not have ‘residence’ of the children.  This is known as a Contact order.  The contact can cover visits at weekends and holidays as well as contact by telephone, letters or email.  This used to be known as ‘Access’.