In considering whether to make an order, the child's welfare must be the court's paramount consideration and in relation to contested applications, it must have regard to the welfare checklist.
The Children Act 1989 provides a list of considerations for the Judge who has to decide the case, which help guide them in making a decision:
• the wishes and feelings of the child concerned
• the child’s physical, emotional and educational needs
• the likely effect on the child if circumstances changed as a result of the court’s decision
• the child’s age, sex, background and any other characteristics that will be relevant to the court’s decision
• any harm the child has suffered or may be at risk of suffering
• the capability of the child’s parents (or other relevant people) in meeting the child’s needs, and
• the powers available to the court
The court must also be satisfied that making an order is better for the child than not making an order at all.
For further information, please contact Fraser Brown’s family team on 0115 9888 777.