Docklands Solicitor

Latest legal news from Docklands Solicitors, Kaslers Solicitors LLP.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010


Shared Residency – Why not?

When considering where children are going to live after the breakdown of a relationship, the first and most important consideration is what is best for the child or children. They are the focus and their welfare is paramount for it will be the children who will be dividing their time between two households.

Nowadays with often both parents working, a shared residence Order (SRO) may be the “the best practical” solution. However, first, the question of housing needs to be investigated: will both parents have access to suitable accommodation in which the children can reside?

A SRO does not mean that the children have to spend equal time 50/50 with each parent. It could state a 60/40 division or a 65/35 division. It means that the children would be living and sharing their time with each parent instead of living with one parent and having contact with the other.

Surely, shared residency would also eliminate the far too often view from children who feel that they have been “abandoned” by the non resident parent (NRP) who far too often are allowed contact every other weekend.

Further more and although not primarily the issue, a SRO may also bring with it the additional advantage that both parents are equal in the eyes of the law and they have equal duties and responsibilities as parents. It also conveys the message that neither parent is in “control” and that the Courts expect parents to co operate with each other for the benefit of their children.

However, one has to be realistic when dealing with where the child/children live and each and every case will depend upon on its own facts.

Parents need to consider their motives and must not get confused with “what is best for me” and remember that it is “what is best for my children.

The Childrens Act 1989 points out some of the circumstances that must be looked at when considering a SRO and the welfare of the child. They are

(a) the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in the light of their age and understanding);

(b) the childs physical, emotional and educational needs;

(c) the likely effect on the child of any change in his or her circumstances;

(d) the age, sex, background and any characteristics of his/hers which the court considers relevant;

(e) any harm which he/she has suffered or is at risk of suffering;

(f) how capable each of his/her parents, and any other person in relation to whom the court considers the question to be relevant, is of meeting his/her needs;

In conclusion, SRO is no longer only made in exceptional circumstances. However, the parents need to be realistic about the children’s living arrangements for they are rarely practical.

Ideally, parents should try and co operates together, in the raising of their children: putting their children first and trying to ensure the child is unaffected by the disruption that separation/divorce brings.

Remember that each case is unique and it is important to understand all the facts.


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Call Michael Breeze on 07900 195 195 or call 0845 270 2511 to if you need legal advise about any of these issues

Kaslers Solicitors LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England under LLP no. OC310653; authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under reg no 408936; governed by professional rules set out in the Code of Conduct click here to visit and has its registered office / main trading address at Suite 3, 10 Churchill Square, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent ME19 4YU - tel: +44 (0)845 270 2511; fax: +44 (0)845 270 2513; DX 92863 West Malling.
The LLP Members are Michael D Breeze LL.B (Hons) (SRA reg no 110184) and Simon McCree Scott LL.B (Hons) (SRA reg no 298202).