Q: My ex-partner wants a Shared Residence Order in respect of our children. What does this mean?
A. Often when a couple separates, they agree their children’s residence and contact arrangements between themselves. However, if you cannot agree, you can apply to the Court for an Order.
Usually, if the Court becomes involved, the children will live with one parent, who has a Residence Order. The other parent has a Contact Order, which sets out when and how they will see the children.
Alternatively, the Court may make a Shared Residence Order, which means that the children live with both parents. This does not need to be an exact 50:50 split but is usually more flexible and allows the parents to both feel equally responsible for the children.
The Court only tends to make these Orders where the parents are on good terms and live nearby.
*Previously printed in the Stamford Mercury