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Can children live with just one parent ("sole residence")?

What is sole residence?

Where parents can't agree, the court can, if necessary, make an order that a child will live with one parent, this will almost always be accompanied by an order that the child will spend time or have contact with the other parent. Often a child will live with their mother - this is not because there is any presumption in law that mothers take priority (there isn't), but because in many cases the mother will have historically been the primary carer. Many fathers have had orders determining that their children should live with them.

There is still no presumption of shared care and the court will always consider the child’s welfare as the paramount consideration. However, the courts recognise that, in the vast majority of cases, children benefit from having a loving and supportive relationship with both parents and will try to ensure that any orders made reflect that objective.

Even if the court does make an order setting out that a child is to live with only one parent, the other parent will retain parental responsibility and have a full say in the child’s upbringing.

MaximizeDo children always live with their mother on separation?