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Who Gets Custody Of Child In The Divorce UK

Who Gets Custody Of Child In The Divorce UK

Are you going to have a divorce, or have you separated from your spouse? Do you want to know who gets custody of a child in a divorce in the UK? You’ll find everything you need in this expert guide. So, you Keep reading till the end, and you’ll find answers to your questions.

In short, the mother has primary custody of the child in the United Kingdom. The mother takes on the entire responsibility of caring for her child. But In contrast, a father only has contact rights with his child as per agreements. And yes, both can make crucial decisions in their child’s life.

But that’s not the ultimate statement. However father retains custody if the mother is not eligible for a charge after looking at the reason behind the divorce. So, To learn more, we’ll go over fundamental custody rights and who decides on the child’s custody.

Understanding child custody in the UK

Simply put, the child’s custody is granted to the father or mother according to the child’s wishes. However concerned court decides the child’s final possession based on the “best interests of the child.” So, Any parent who can best care for the child will get custody.

In addition to child preferences, custody depends on several other factors. So, these factors include the past attitudes of each parent towards the child and future concerns.  If everything is fine or the parents disagree, it leads to shared custody and living with both parents.

Therefore Shared custody is a perfect option, as the child will spend half his time with his mother and half with his father. But Each parent gets equal chances to live with their child to keep their life going. However the answer is yes, both can make decisions for the child’s future life.

Basic custody rights you should know

To know who gets custody of a child in a divorce in the UK, you must know the fundamental custody rights. But you fit the requirements, you’ll get your child’s responsibility. So, you must only have parental responsibility—providing shelter, food, and education.

As most mothers have jobs, parental care is equal for both parents. So, in such a case, custody leads to a shared one, as mentioned earlier. But if the case is different, there are a few things to consider before the court decides on custody. These are as under:

For mother to have custody

    • If the mother is on the job
    • If she can provide housing
    • If she can ensure the health
    • If she can uphold education

For father to have custody

    • If the father has a secure job
    • If he can give the child time
    • If he can ensure the health
    • If he can provide a better life

As a result, if you have all the qualities required to raise a child, you will be granted custody. But you may lose them if you have had any shortcomings in child care in the past. However, as both parents meet these criteria and have equal rights, the court decides on two grounds:

    • Ask the child about his wish, i.e., which parent the child prefers
    • Look at the parent’s abilities and go for the shared custody option

Who decides custody of a Child? solicitor or court

A legal expert, solicitor, or court writes or decides the final custody of a child in a divorce in the UK. When you taking the help of a solicitor is a flexible way to write the decision on the parents’ agreement. If parents do not agree on any theme, the country court takes the case.

A solicitor’s letter

What’s the most preferred option for giving the child’s custody to a parent after divorce? The parents agree to decide whether their child will stay with the father, mother, or both. However this way of settlement is flexible for parents and easy to document.

So, If parents agree upon a type of shared residency, a solicitor can help to write a legal letter. Your arrangements will get on paper without any legal binding, and that’s why it’s safe. However If parents disagree and have some clashes, the next option is to file a case.

A court’s decision

So, once you file a case in a court, the court will decide based on several factors. This approach is not advisable as one parent may suffer a lot and might lose the child’s custody. A court gives its statement looking at the best interest of the child and Welfare Checklist.

A Welfare Checklist is a set of particular vital points, and the decision of possession is made per this criterion. If any parent fits the criteria, they will get custody. So, Below are the points you should remember before going to court to file a custody request.

    • Consider the child’s wish or interest
    • All basic needs of the child in childhood
    • Impact of future events on the child’s life
    • The child’s age, gender, and background
    • The child’s past risks and future well-being
    • Court powers under the Children Act 1989
    • Look at the overall abilities of the parent

Before applying for the court to decide on the matter, discuss all the conditions with an expert solicitor. It’ll give you a clear picture of how your case will go and tell you about the chances of winning. But if you have maximum rights, the court will favour the mother. 

Tips to improve your chances of getting custody

What can be the best approach to increase the chances of getting custody of your child after the divorce? In modern days, it’s a challenge for both parents, and they worry about how to get custody. So, there are a few tips you should follow to win possession.

    • Create a solid and friendly relationship with your child
    • Be friendly with your child from his age of understanding
    • Craft a proper plan for taking care of the child till adulthood
    • Keep responsibility proofs to show in the particular court
    • Hire the best lawyer when your wife has no rights of custody
    • Give some space to the other parent to contact the child


Well! That’s all about who gets custody of a child in a divorce in the UK. So, the child’s custody is decided based on the child’s wishes and best interests. So, when we talk about the standard practice when it comes to divorce is shared custody to give equal charge to both parents.  

We recommend looking at your child’s happiness and don’t spoil their life for your issues. So, Let a solicitor or court make a proper decision best for the well-being of the child. Therefore you’ll have a better outcome according to your choice and your child’s betterment.

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Our Head Solicitor
Khurram Amir Qureshi

Khurram Amir Qureshi has been an advocate of Pakistan since 2004, a Solicitor of England and Wales since 2009, Solicitor of Ireland since 2015. He has extensive experience in family law, Immigration law, Personal injury cases, and Civil and Commercial litigation gaining over 13 years of continuous practice in England and Wales.

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