Family Lore Clinic: How easy is it to overturn a residence order?

A residence order is an order settling the arrangements to be made as to with whom a child is to live, i.e. usually with one or other of the child's parents. Courts can make shared residence orders, setting out how the child should share their time with each parent, but the poser of this question obviously refers to an order made in favour of someone else, presumably the other parent.

The answer to the question is that it depends entirely upon the facts.

If you apply to have the residence order overturned, the court will decide the application having regard to the 'welfare checklist', as described in this previous post. One of the factors in the checklist is the likely effect on the child of any change in their circumstances, and obviously this may work against a change of residence. However, it may be considered that there is unlikely to be any adverse effect, and even if there is, there may be other factors that out-weigh it.

Perhaps one of the most common reasons for changing residence is where an older child expresses a wish to live with the other parent.

On the other hand, if there have been no significant changes relating to the factors in the welfare checklist since the order was made, then it is highly unlikely that the court will overturn the order.

Applying to overturn a residence order is a serious step. Before taking it, you should seek detailed advice from a specialist family lawyer.