Skip to main content

Residence Orders

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many residence orders were awarded to (a) men and (b) women in each year for which figures are available. (197374)

The information requested is not collected centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Information is available on the overall number of residence orders made under section 8 of the Children Act 1989 and is published annually in judicial statistics, but the courts in England and Wales do not collect information about who the order is made in favour of from each case record.

A study entitled “Residence and Contact Disputes in Court Volume 1” by Professor Carol Smart and others, University of Leeds (DCA Research Series 6/03) published September 2003, found the following:

Outcomes where mothers applied for residence or for residence and/or contact:

Outcome

Percentage (number = 120)

Residence to mother

42

Shared residence

5

Contact only to mother

3

No order/withdrawn

19

Dismissed

10

Residence to respondent/other

3

Residence to respondent plus contact to mother

3

Other

15

Total

100

Outcomes where fathers applied for residence or for residence and/or contact:

Outcome

Percentage (number = 83)

Resident to father

36

Shared residence

7

Contact only to father

11

No order/withdrawn

23

Dismissed

4

Residence to respondent or other

3.5

Residence to respondent plus contact to father

12

Other

3.5

Total

100

The sample size is small compared to the overall numbers of residence orders made hi all types of court in England and Wales and the sample was taken from three county courts so the percentages above may not give an accurate reflection of all residence orders made in all levels of court.

The overall number of residence orders made for the years 2002-06 is set out as follows.

Number

2002

30,006

2003

31,996

2004

31,878

2005

26,523

2006

30,035