Residence is the new name for custody. In years gone by when someone divorces an Order was made granting custody of the children to one parent.
These days there are no Orders made unless a dispute arises as the law presumes that most parents can make their own arrangements without Court intervention.
However in many cases parents dispute where the children should live and in these cases an application for a Residence Order may be necessary. Sometimes, the welfare of a child requires this to be done on an urgent basis.
In other cases parents may feel that they need help agreeing arrangements for children when they separate but don’t want to use the Court route.
Joint Residence works for some families very well. In effect, the parties share the care of their children, although this does not necessarily have to mean equal. The Court can make a joint residence Order or parties can simply agree a shared care arrangement. Sometimes joint Residence can even be appropriate where parents are very acrimonious as psychologically it means shared “power” rather than it appearing that one parent has more rights than the other.