Historically, perhaps, it is true that there was a tendency by the Courts to make orders in favour of children living with their mother and spending time with their father, usually on a fortnightly basis. This reflected an era where the father did go out to work while the mother stayed home, perhaps working on a part time basis, but taking responsibility for the children’s day to day care.
It is true now that if the Court was asked to determine the arrangements for a child where the mother had historically had day to day care for them, then that is going to be a compelling factor when making a decision. However, the same applies if the father’s and mother’s roles in this scenario were reversed (and now, increasingly, they are). Now, therefore, it is less of an argument for the mother, as it is an argument for maintaining the child’s status quo, for stability’s sake. It is also much more likely now that, if circumstances allow, the Court will not consider that fortnightly contact with the non-resident father or mother will be sufficient and make provision for weekly contact as well.
In fact, now with the more modern family often being one where both parents work, there is a shift towards ‘shared care’ arrangements and these can see the Court ordering that the child should live with both parents for different parts of the week or, sometimes, on an alternating week basis.
Furthermore, there are many other factors to be considered by the Courts (such as age, sex, either parent’s ability to look after them) and, ultimately, its primary focus is the welfare of the child.
For more information on the issues raised in this blog please do not hesitate to contact one of the team at Rayden Solicitors.