Child custody is an issue that can happen due to various reasons. It can be as a result of the death of a parent or parents, or as a result of divorce. It is important to be aware of the rules around child custody, so you are aware of your rights, as well as your responsibilities regarding the rights and needs of your children.


In recent years custody is more commonly referred to as “residency.” Ideally, an agreement will be arranged so that an equal amount of time can be shared between parents. However, if this is not possible, then an arrangement may need to be decided by the court.

In each case, the main consideration will be the needs of the child. Each parent will be individually assessed, looking at their living conditions. When it is decided who the child will live with, the non-resident parent will be considered in terms of what access they will be granted and how many maintenance payments the parent will have to pay.

It is also possible to appeal an order if it is felt that a parent is not keeping up with their agreed duties (for example, not paying child maintenance).

Joint residency

There has been more emphasis on joint residency. This reflects how parents can both be working, and therefore in terms of childcare, both parents may need to be on hand to look after the child at different times. It is also possible that this may change if the parent’s living arrangements change, and the court decides they are not suitable for the child to live there. Equally, a parent who has been denied access may be able to get access again if the courts decide the parent has made positive changes to their living arrangements.

There is the possibility that a third party (such as a grandparent) may also dispute custody in the event of a parent’s death. It is also possible that other family members and their role in bringing up a child may be a factor in a residency decision.


One of the biggest factors in deciding who receives access is the thought of any potential risk to the child. If a partner has a history of abuse or is deemed to be potentially violent, then it is likely that they will not be granted access as this is a key consideration when deciding who will be awarded custody.

We can help

If you feel that you have not been treated fairly in a custody case, or you are about to apply for an order, we want to help. As a family law firm, Larcomes has the experience in helping families through difficult times, providing both the resources our team needs but also the customer service care you deserve. Contact us today so we can get you in touch with one of our experienced specialist legal professionals so you can tell us more about your circumstances and to see how we can help you.