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What does the court consider when making a decision relating to children?

What does the court consider when making a decision relating to children?

When considering any application in respect of a child under the Children Act, the child’s welfare is the court’s paramount consideration. This means that the wishes and feelings of parents are secondary.

The court must also consider the following when deciding what order to make or whether to make any order at all:

  • The wishes and feelings of the child in the light of his/her or age and understanding;
  • The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs;
  • The likely effect on the child of any change in their circumstances;
  • The child’s age, sex, background, any characteristics the child may have as relevant;
  • Any harm that the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering;
  • How capable each of the children’s parents, and any other person whom the court considers relevant, is of meeting their needs;
  • The range of powers available to the court in the proceedings.

These factors are known as the ‘Welfare Check List’.

Liz Fitzpatrick

Partner
01895 207857
elizabeth.fitzpatrick@ibblaw.co.uk