The Court’s Approach

The Court’s Approach

When a Court application is made for a Child Arrangements Order, Specific Issues Order or a Prohibited Steps Order there are various factors that the Court will take into consideration when deciding whether to make the order.

The Court will consider the following three principles: –

  1. The child’s welfare is the Court’s paramount consideration;
  2. Any delay in resolving matters is likely to prejudice the welfare of the child; and
  3. The Court shall not make an order unless it considers that doing so would be better for the child than making no order at all.

The Court will also have regard to the following factors commonly known as the ‘Welfare Checklist’:

  • the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the children concerned (considered in the light of the child’s age and understanding);
  • their physical, emotional and educational needs;
  • the likely effect on the children of any change in their circumstances;
  • their age, sex, background, and any characteristic of theirs which the Court considers relevant;
  • any harm which they have suffered or are at risk of suffering;
  • how capable each of the parents, and any other person in relation to whom the Court considers the question to be relevant, is of meeting the child’s needs; and
  • the range of powers available to the Court under the Children Act in the proceedings in question.

The Court will look at which of the above principles and factors are relevant to the case and consider them accordingly. Ultimately the aim the of Court is to ensure that whatever decision is made is in the best interests of the child.

Unfortunately there are no guarantees or fixed outcomes when making a formal Court application and each case will be dealt with on its facts. This litigation risk is something to bear in mind when considering whether to make an application.

For more information speak to one of our experienced family solicitors on 0113 322 9222 or enquires@consilialegal.co.uk or complete our contact us form.

 


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