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Residency Orders - should we all be doing this?

(16 Posts)
SuePurblybilt Thu 23-Jun-11 22:15:26

Inspired by recent scary thread of hob's in Chat. For those of us who are LP and the parent with residence or whatever they call it, should we be applying for a residency order 'just in case'?
So in my situation, I have a DD with ExP, both names on birth cert, she is with me FT and ExP has her one day a week. But he could just decide not to return her couldn't he? I know it would eventually be sorted out but is a residency order a good thing to do in advance - so everything is clear - or is it something that only happens after court decisions about contact etc?

GypsyMoth Thu 23-Jun-11 22:18:12

They aren't given out 'just in case'

You can't get one just like that, you need good cause. I couldn't even get one, and my ex was given ZERO access which is extremely rare

SuePurblybilt Thu 23-Jun-11 22:21:33

So there's no way of formalising your living arrangements until there actually is a problem? Does good cause have to be (am guessing yes) really serious stuff then?

GypsyMoth Thu 23-Jun-11 22:23:46

Well mine was serious enough to warrant a section 91(14) and didn't get one!!

SuePurblybilt Thu 23-Jun-11 22:28:13

Blimey. I have no clue what that is but it sounds bad.
I think I need to praps do some research on this. I am not sure why I'm trusting this to luck - that's never been a good strategy with Exp!

GypsyMoth Thu 23-Jun-11 22:34:48

Maybe legal people here can help!

It wasn't such a consideration for me as dc are older, so not deemed necessary as such

prh47bridge Thu 23-Jun-11 22:52:40

The courts will generally only make a residence order if there is a dispute about where the child should live. They will not make an order in case there might be a dispute at some point in the future.

STIDW Thu 23-Jun-11 22:54:56

Please don't believe everything you read on an internet forum. There is a no order principle and the courts will usually only grant a residence order when the issue of where a child should live can't be resolved any other way and an order would be in the best interests of the child. These days the outcome of many residence applications is shared residence which is perhaps not what you intend.

If a child isn't returned to a parent with the majority of care it is possible to apply as an emergency to court for a specific issue order or interim residence within a matter of hours when necessary.

SuePurblybilt Thu 23-Jun-11 23:01:12

OK, that seems clear enough, thank you. It just occured to me that I have done nothing since splitting from ExP to formalise any arrangements (other than the usual tax credit type notifications) and it would not have surprised me at all if I'd neglected to do something obvious.
Tis a minefield, all this smile

balia Thu 23-Jun-11 23:12:59

It certainly is - there should be much more help for couples when they separate, and certainly for the children. It is such a traumatic time for all concerned and once finances and 'friends' get added into the mix it becomes overwhelming. When you think of the money that is given out in legal aid, surely it would be more cost-effective to have a purpose-designed service to give couples and kids counselling, therapy, impartial advice, information, access to research and to others who have been in the same position, mediation and advocacy, rather than pay to have people's pain written out in legalese and get all gladiatorial about it. (No disrespect to family lawyers but it just doesn't seem to be the appropriate way to deal with these issues.)

GypsyMoth Thu 23-Jun-11 23:15:02

I thought legal aid was going to be withdrawn within the family courts?

Collaborate Fri 24-Jun-11 00:24:07

Lawyers don't get all gladitorial about it usually. It's the clients who get that way. They're usually getting divorced for a reason.

We'll see anyway. You'll get your utopian society soon, so all the problems of family breakdown will be cured.

My arse.

STIDW Fri 24-Jun-11 10:25:37

Agree in the UK enough isn't done to support separating couples and separating classes could help people cope better emotionally and impart information to assist with making decisions but to suggest that going through solicitors is "gladiatorial" is disingenuous. Many of us successfully negotiate through solicitors and move on and only a relatively small number of couples fight it out through the courts. Sadly human nature being what it is the acrimonious cases are the ones that dominate the news and internet forums.

I am not a lawyer but I have been around long enough to know that whilst there may be some dinosaurs in the profession there are many lawyers who are good at advocacy. In my experience often couples do attempt mediation before going to court but, for various reasons, it fails. Much of the increase in cases that are clogging up the family courts is in fact down to self reppers, and they are often assisted by lay people or organisations who ratchet up grievances making matters worse.

cestlavielife Fri 24-Jun-11 15:25:36

i moved out with Dc and applied for residence order as way to formalise residence and contact. there were significant MH issues and violence/agression. no judge queried the applciaiton for residence but didnt want to addddress that issue til contact arangemetns were up and running. so first lot of hearings focused on contact arrangments (it went to supervised contact centre) then final hearing after two years and about five hearings (i think!) gave residence order in my favour., we wernet married.

balia Fri 24-Jun-11 19:51:40

Apologies; re-read my post and it wasn't clear. I didn't mean that sols were the gladiatorial ones - just that the whole process is confrontational and the idea of going to court seems to encourage people to battle, rather than genuinely reach a solution. There seems to be a real sense of 'winning' and 'losing', which doesn't seem appropriate in terms of children.

I'm still not clear what is happening re legal aid and family cases, some sort of review when last I heard?

In fairness, though, many self-reppers only do so because they can't afford to be represented. Surely they are just as entitled to ask the court for help to solve the issues about their children as someone who has the money to pay for representation? And of course, if they weren't 'clogging up' the family courts in an attempt to resolve issues between parents they'd be useless deadbeats who don't care about their kids. hmm

Collaborate, I have no idea what you are talking about but apologies if you are responding to a feeling of being criticised, which was not my intention. I have nothing but respect for the contributors to this topic who help people for free; and i have said so many times on various threads.

millie30 Fri 24-Jun-11 21:13:40

Cestlavielife, I was in the same situation as you but was given a residency order at the very first hearing. It's interesting how different peoples experiences are.

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