Residence Order

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The definition ‘residence order’ was removed in April 2014 from the Children Act 1989 and replaced with the Child Arrangements Order (CAO).

The Child Arrangements Order settles:

  • with whom a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact with, and
  • when a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact with any person

The phrase ‘is to live’ is equivalent to a residence order. The definition ‘spend time’ is the equivalent of a contact order. So it is important when you are in front of the Judge or negotiating with the other parent to understand what the new terminology means.

Prior to the arrival of the Child Arrangements Order, a residence order was an order settling the arrangements to be made as to the person with whom a child is to live. The residence order determined where a child shall live but it could not order who will care for the child. It will usually be made in favour of a parent but can be made in favour of anyone. A residence order gives parental responsibility to those who are named and do not already have PR.