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Who decides which parent should have custody of a child?

When parents separate, the first question for most is going to be:  Who is going to look after the child or children or, put differently, how much time is the child going to spend with each parent?  Often the word "custody" is used in this context, but this word has no specific, legal meaning.  If there is a court order defining where a child will live, it is called a "child arrangements order".  However, it is usually not necessary to have a child arrangements order to determine where a child will live or who will have "custody" for a child.

Autism and Shared Parenting

There are approximately 700,000 people in the UK with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), according to a study by the NHS. This means that ASD affects 1 in 100 people, and affects individuals as well as families. Individuals with an ASD can be anywhere on the spectrum, and symptoms vary. Whilst there are urban legends that 80% of marriages end in divorce when there is an autistic child in the family, the reality is that divorce in a family with autistic children is no less likely than between parents of children without autism.

What to do if your partner leaves you with the children

When a relationship breaks down, and there are children involved, it is not uncommon for one party to be left with the children and unsure what to do next. Some parents may feel anxious that the other parent will reappear unannounced and “reclaim” the children, particularly if it is the Father who has been left to look after them. This fact sheet sets out some of the concerns a newly single parent may have, and what options are available.

A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush

A new movement has travelled from the US to the UK recently called “bird’s nest” co-parenting.

One of the issues that many parents have when they decide to separate is where the children should live, and how much time they should spend with each parent.

You don't have to go to Court to resolve marital disputes

My ex-partner and I disagree over arrangements for our children - Do we have to go to Court?

No, a court application is only a last resort if you can’t reach agreement by another method. First you should try discussing things directly with your ex but if this doesn’t work, a mediator may be able to help. A mediator is a neutral third party who can help you both understand your differences and reach a compromise.