residence order

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An order made by a court that settles the question of who is to provide accommodation and day-to-day care for a child. It is usually made in cases where the parents have divorced or separated. The parent who will not have the child living with him (the “non-resident parent”) loses the right physically to look after the child but continues to have parental responsibility. Although the Children Act 1989 indicates that there is no need for the resident parent to consult the non-resident parent before taking decisions in relation to the child, case law seems to draw a distinction between serious matters (such as a change of school or a decision to circumcise a child), which do require consultation, and trivial or minor day-to-day matters, which do not (Re G (Parental Responsibility: Education) [1994] 2 FLR 964; Re J (Specific issue orders: Muslim upbringing and Circumcision) [2000] 1 FLR 571 (CA). Generally, a residence order is made in favour of one parent and a contact order in respect of the other. However, in some cases the court will grant a joint residence order requiring that the child's time be split between the two homes. Residence orders are usually made in favour of one or other parent of a child, but may be made in respect of nonparents. In such a case the residence order confers parental responsibility on the holder.

Subjects: Law.

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