A Residence Order confirms with whom a child is to live.
A Contact Order (usually but not necessarily made in favour of the non-resident parent) deals with whom the child is to see and confirms with whom a child is to have contact. The Contact Order could be either direct (face to face contact whether on a visiting or staying basis) or indirect (by letter, telephone, email etc).
A Parental Responsibility Order confers on the person in whose favour the order is made rights and responsibilities in respect of a child’s care and upbringing. An unmarried father whose name is not registered on the child’s birth certificate would need to apply to the Court for such an order in the absence of agreement from the child’s mother. It is possible for a step parent including a civil partner to apply to the Court also for a Parental Responsibility Order in respect of their partner’s child.
Parental Responsibility can be conferred upon an unmarried father or a step parent or civil partner by a Parental Responsibility Agreement signed at Court by all those who have parental responsibility for the said child.