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I’m going through a separation and have children with my partner. How much time can my partner expect to have with them?

Each case is decided on an individual basis and there is no set amount of time that each parent can expect to spend with their children. This often depends on various different factors including the working routines of each parent, how far apart they live, how old the children are and, arguably most importantly, what the children themselves want.

If you and your partner cannot agree on the amount of time each of you wants to spend with your children then you may need to go to court to obtain a contact order. The court will look at your individual circumstances and may ask someone who has experience in working with children whose parents are separating to provide some expert evidence.

What is always the case in child contact proceedings is that the court’s primary concern is the children’s welfare. This usually means that the children continue to have meaningful relationships with both parents and things such as hobbies are taken into consideration when making the contact arrangements.

Most children will live with only one parent and that parent will have the residence order from the court. The court will then usually make arrangements for the children to have contact time with the other parent where they can stay over at their house, usually during school holidays or weekends. However, it is also possible for there to be a shared residence order between the two parents where the children spend half their time with one parent and half their time with another. Again, it is the welfare of the children that the court will place most emphasis on.

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