HC Deb 08 January 2002 vol 377 c608W
Mr. Hoban

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what assessment she has made of(a) the use and (b) the effectiveness of joint residence orders. [24517]

Ms Rosie Winterton

Joint residence orders are rare because, if parents are able to agree a regime of shared care, a court order is unlikely to be necessary. However, in "Re: D (Shared Residence Order) 2000" the Court of Appeal decided that, in this case, it was in the child's best interests for the court to recognise the living arrangements brought about by a shared parenting regime. Although no formal assessment has been undertaken, the courts have found that shared residence arrangements can be problematic, especially if parents find it difficult to agree matters between themselves. Shared residence can sometimes be disruptive to children's educational and social development, particularly if parents live some distance apart.