Child Custody & Residence Advice

No orders regarding children are automatically made on divorce. You must file a 'Statement of Arrangements' detailing agreements about what will happen with the children - where they will live, contact arrangements, which school they will attend etc. You can get these forms from your local court and complete them yourself or with the help of a solicitor. Both parties must sign the form.

If agreement can not be reached you can apply to the court to resolve the issue where they will make decisions based on the welfare of the child.

The court can make these orders and the following terminology is used:

  • A Residence Order (previously known as Custody) - where and with whom a child will live.
  • A Contact Order (previously known as an Access Order) - this states who should be allowed contact with the child.
  • Prohibited Steps Order - this order prevents specific actions in relation to a child, for example taking them from the country.
  • Specific Issue Order - this relates to a specific issue for a child such as schooling.