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TOPIC: Contact vs Residency

Contact vs Residency 2 years 8 months ago #81984

I've had my final hearing and got a contact order. It pretty much gives me what I went in asking except alternate Christmases but I am getting them Christmas Eve AND boxing day so am happy enough.
Something that is bothering me though. From day one I have been after a shared residency order (I have always been in kids lives mother unilaterally stopped midweek contact last year, still had them at weekends) and have to an extent been there more than their mother.

Yet on the day both the social worker and the judge wouldn't even consider a shared residency and just kept telling me a contact order is virtually the same. I never even got chance to argue my reasons for wanting one.

I know I should be pleased, I'm seeing my kids 3 days a week and have been vindicated with regards all the lies she told, but I'm angry she got residency and I only got contact. I can't wrap my head around it.

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Last Edit: by NothingElseMatters.

Contact vs Residency 2 years 8 months ago #81985

Hi

First well done on getting through court and obtaining a good outcome.

Second, shared residency is rarely given and there are good reasons for this. But as you allude to, what are your reasons for wanting shared "residency"?
Bear in mind that Court aims to sort matters for the benefit, and from the perspective of "the child". The process is not a "reward" for one parent or the other (I suspect this is the point you are not wrapping your head around). What parents "want" is secondary to what the Court deems is in the interest of the child.

The current terminology is "child arrangements orders" which - while I admit are much the same as a residency/contact order - is an attempt to move away from "contact" and "residency".

The major practical difference between a contact and residency order is that the parent with whom the child resides can take the child out of the country (for a short period - 28 days) without the express permission of the other parent (with contact). The parent with contact must inform the parent with whom the child resides if they wish to remove the child from the UK for any period of time. Other than that - there really is very little difference between contact and residency in relation to a arrangments orders.

I am not defending the approach or decisions made by family courts - but simply explaining it.

Hope helps.

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Contact vs Residency 2 years 8 months ago #82000

Thanks for reply.

I'm in NI and we still have residency/contact, we haven't moved onto child arrangement orders yet.

I had loads of reasons. I live 5 mins from the children and up until I had the cheek to start a new relationship, had them over about 5 times a week. They call my house home as well as their mothers. Mother uses the term primary carer/resident parent as if it is a title bestowed to her. She's more or less told me I'm a no one.
Shared residency I felt would cement my role.
I had hoped to be able to enrol the children in after school for the 2 hours after school I am at work but have been told that this would be frowned upon because that's my contact time. It feels as if I am losing out in terms of decisions because correspondence from school/Dr is directed at primary carer (I am trying to get this changed). It feels incredibly swayed and I can't understand why it wasn't even considered .

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Contact vs Residency 2 years 8 months ago #82002

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There's nothing to stop you trying for it again further down the line, the older the kids get the more their wishes will be listened too.

I can completely understand why shared care would have been best for the kids, it's just a pity the court can be slow to that realisation sometimes.

So when the children are in your ex's care she doesn't ever use babysitters or leave the children with anyone else?!

I'm pretty sure you can get the school to include you in any correspondence they send out, the GP may be a hard per egg to crack.

As you are in NI it's difficult to advise you, as you are aware, family law differs from that in England and Wales.

All th best

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DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

Contact vs Residency 2 years 8 months ago #82004

Exactly Mojo. She leaves the children with her parents every Friday night for example to go out. She has her parents do school runs. But I've been told I am not allowed to do anything of the sort as it would be frowned upon that I am not availing of my contact time and that she could go to court and have this time taken off me. I'm devastated that despite the fact I had 2 pages of A4 of reasons I felt shared care best, I didn't even get the chance to say any of it. Was told from outset that despite being vindicated of her lies, despite glowing report from school and social worker, it would still only be a contact order.
Terrified this will bite me in the ass in the future.

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Contact vs Residency 2 years 8 months ago #82006

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I don't believe she would be successful in court to be honest....she's bluffing and probably feeling buoyed up that she got what she wanted.

The final hearing sounds like it was very recently, you could try writing to the court to ask for clarification on the after school club situation. Apologise for not addressing it in court, but explain that you didn't think it would be an issue as she also leaves the children with babysitters and her parents when they are in her care.

Make the most of your time with your kids and revisit it again at a later date.... all,the best
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DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

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