THE WELFARE CHECKLIST

 

s.1 Children Act 1989

 

  1. Welfare of the child

 

(1)      When a Court determines any question with respect to –

 

           (a) the upbringing of a child; or

 

           (b) the administration of a child’s property or the application of any income arising                              from it,

 

           the child’s welfare shall be the Court’s paramount consideration.

 

(2)      In any proceedings in which any question with respect to the upbringing of a child                        arises, the Court shall have regard to the general principle that any delay in                                    determining the question is likely to prejudice the welfare of the child.

 

(3)      In the circumstances mentioned in subsection (4), a Court shall have regard in                              particular to –

 

            (a)   the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in the                               light of his age and understanding);

 

            (b)   his physical, emotional and educational needs;

 

            (c)   the likely effect on him of any change in his circumstances;

 

            (d)  his age, sex, background and any characteristics of which the Court considers                                relevant;

 

            (e)   any harm which he has suffered or is at risk of suffering

 

            (f)   how capable each of his parents, and any other person in relation to whom the                               Court considers the question to be relevant, is of meeting his needs;

 

            (g)  the range of powers available to the Court under this Act in the proceedings in                                question

 

 (4)      The circumstances are that-

 

            (a)  the Court is considering whether to make, vary or discharge a s.8 Order, and the                          making, variation or discharge of the Order is opposed by any party to the                                      proceedings; or

 

            (b)  the Court is considering whether to make, vary or discharge a Special                                              Guardianship Order or an Order under Part IV.

 

(5)       Where a Court is considering whether or not to make one or more Orders under this                      Act with respect to a child, it shall not make the Order or any of the Orders unless it                    considers that doing so would be better for the child than making no Order at all.