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Can my children just live with me?

If you and your spouse cannot agree on where your child will live, a court can make a child arrangements order stating that the child will live with one parent.

Usually, this will also state that the other parent has a right to see their child and spend time with them. Only in exceptional circumstances would the court not give some kind of contact to the other parent.

It is usual for courts to make orders that children live with their mothers. This is not because the mother has any more rights than the father – usually both the mother and the father have parental responsibility – but because the mother has generally been the one who has acted as the primary carer for the children. However, there have been a large number of cases where fathers have obtained orders for children to live with them.

When the court is considering where the child should live they will always put the child’s welfare and needs first. It’s worth noting that even if your spouse gets sole residence of your child you will still have parental responsibility (if you already had it) and will have a say in how your child is brought up.

For more information on this subject please visit our Legal Library.


Contact us to see how we can help you with divorce and child arrangements

For more information call our team on 0845 862 5001 or email

We offer a nationwide service. We have client meeting office facilities available, in order to have face-to-face client meetings / conferences as and when required in:

London Office: Duncannon Street, London WC2N 4JF

Manchester Office: King Street, Manchester, M2 4PD

Leeds Office: Princes Exchange, Princes Square, Leeds, LS1 4HY

Huddersfield Office: Northumberland Street Huddersfield, HD1 1RL

Please contact us for more details.

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