A v A (Children: Shared Residence Order): CA 3 Feb 1994

A shared residence order may be still made if it is needed, but it remains an unusual order. Connell J discussed the guidance given as to shared residence order
Butler-Sloss LJ said: ‘Miss Moulder, representing the father, accepts that the conventional order still is that there would be residence to one parent with contact to the other parent. It must be demonstrated that there is positive benefit to the child concerned for a s 11 (4) order to be made, and such positive benefit must be demonstrated in the light of the s 1 checklist . . The usual order that would be made in any case where it is necessary to make an order is that there will be residence to one parent and a contact order to the other parent. Consequently, it will be unusual to make a shared residence order. But the decision whether to make such a shared residence order is always in the discretion of the judge on the special facts of the individual case. It is for him alone to make that decision. However, a shared residence order would, in my view, be unlikely to be made if there were concrete issues still arising between the parties which had not been resolved, such as the amount of contact whether it should be staying or visiting contact or another issue such as education, which were muddying the waters and which were creating difficulties between the parties which reflected the way in which the children were moving from one parent to the other in the contact period . . If a child, on the other hand, has a settled home with one parent and substantial staying contact with the other parent, which has been settled, long-standing and working well, or if there are future plans for sharing the time of the children between two parents where all the parties agree and where there is no possibility of confusion in the mind of the child as to where the child will be and the circumstances of the child at any time, this may be, bearing in mind all the other circumstances, a possible basis for a shared residence order, if it can be demonstrated that there is a positive benefit to the child.’


Butler-Sloss LJ


Times 23-Feb-1994, [1994] 1 FLR 669


Children Act 1989 11(4)


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedIn re AR (A Child: Relocation) FD 10-Jun-2010
Both parents had parental responsibility. The French mother wished to return to live in France and to take the five year old child with her, applying to court for the appropriate order.
Held: The court pointed to the real difficulties always . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.77585