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What is a typical custody arrangement in the UK like?

(3 Posts)
Toadinthehole Mon 13-Jul-15 11:26:42

A question I have arising out of this thread.

Where I live (NZ), it is normal for the separating parents to share custody (ie, children are with the mother for a few days, then with the father). Generally speaking, the courts will only award custody to one parent when the other parent refuses to take on a share of the parenting.

I have got the impression that the situation in the UK is quite different, ie, one parent will be awarded custody and the other parent will only be given access rights, which I guess means the right to spend a certain amount of time per week with the children.

If this is correct, what happens when the parent with custody wishes to move away or abroad?

MarkRuffaloCrumble Mon 13-Jul-15 11:43:04

I don't think there is a 'typical' arrangement - it depends what works for specific circumstances.

Sadly not all parents WANT to do their fair share of parenting, they just want the fun times at the weekend once in a while. I think generally if a dad wants 50/50 it will be awarded that way as a starting point as long as it is in the best interests of the DCs.

My DCs live with me but stay at their dad's house once a week on a random day depending on his shifts. Neither of us has family close by who can help out, so there's no way he could have them 50/50 even if he wanted to. Sometimes he is at work until 10-11pm or leaving at 5am, but his days change every week, so he would have to find childcare for odd hours on odd days. Instead he uses me and fits the DCs in where he can!

My DP has his DCs 50/50 either Weds-Sun or Thurs-Sun. He is lucky to work regular hours and have help at home from family so can accommodate them as well as their mum can on any given day.

I know others who have their DC 50/50 but on alternate days, which seems a bit messy but apparently works for them, or even one week on one week off.

The most common one seems to be dad has them every other weekend with an overnight on a weekday each week in between.

babybarrister Mon 13-Jul-15 13:06:10

as far as legal systems are concerned "the UK" does not exist as England and Wales have one law and Scotland and Northern Ireland other laws

In England and Wales there are now Child Arrangement Orders which set out the time with each parent rather than contact and residence but you are broadly right that the courts here consider that children generally need a base

in terms of moving to live elsewhere, no-one has the trump card - if there is no agreement between everyone with parental responsibility then the courts decide

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