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We provide expert advice, practical support and campaign for single parents

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Deciding where your child should live

If you are a single parent or are thinking about separating from your partner, you will need to reach an agreement about where your child will live. There are no set rules about where a child should live and how much time they should spend with each parent. It may take some time to find an arrangement that works for all of you and both parents will need to compromise. The place your child normally lives may also change over time as they grow up or circumstances change.

Parents usually decide where a child lives between them. If you cannot agree then you may try mediation or negotiation through a solicitor. As a last resort, you may apply to the court to decide.

Details of all the organisations mentioned are after each section and in Useful organisations.  For more information tailored to your circumstances, contact the Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline free on 0808 802 0925.

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Gingerbread has no control over the contents of these organisations' websites or products and services offered, these links and/or contact details are provided for your information only. Gingerbread accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage that may arise from your use of these websites and/or products and services offered by third parties.