Family law solicitor Kathryn McTaggart answers this very important question in this brief video.
Separating parents often ask me how they can get ‘custody’ of their children. It is an odd question as custody is a very old fashioned term and hasn’t had any basis in family law for a very long time. What parents usually mean is can they have their children live with them and can they be the parent who is in control of the day to day decisions about their welfare.
Generally speaking both parents will have parental responsibility and there is a presumption that children will have a meaningful relationship with both of their parents. If parents cannot decide on time that their children will spend with each of them, either can apply to the Court for a child arrangements order. A child arrangements order simply sets out when a child will spend time with each of his or her parents. In summary, there is no such thing as custody but you can have a child arrangements order, and if necessary, these can be enforced.