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Custody and Access of Children

Provision for the care of children is obviously necessary when parents no longer reside together.

Custody largely concerns the primary residence of the child. Recognising that although the child will generally be equally attached to both parents the child will, in the interests of maintaining as much stability as possible, need to live most of the time in one house and go to one school.

Access is the term used to describe the arrangements for means the provision for contact with the other parent with whom the child is not primarily resident.

Many couples agree co-parenting arrangements which usually work well given goodwill on either side. Most parents only wish the best for their children and realise the huge important of contact with both parents and are usually able, over time , to put personal hurts to one side at least where the children are concerned.

Custody and Access Reports following an assessment by either a psychiatrist or a psychologist may be sought by either or both of the parties if agreement cannot be reached.

This introduces third-party decision-makers into the process which may add to the stress of either or both parties and certainly will increase costs. It is always far preferable if the parents can themselves agree as to how best to plan for the care and welfare of their children consistent with a workable agreement for both parents. Usually children will be equally attached to parents albeit with different emphases in each relationship and the will detest having to ‘choose’ one parent over the other. They will want to be able to spend reasonable amount of time with both parents.

If you want to end a marriage completely, you have to obtain a decree of nullity of marriage which can only be given by a court. The ultimate effect of this order is that the marriage never existed in the eyes of the State.