The Court will have to consider a number of different factors when deciding what Orders to make in respect of a particular child. The child’s welfare will be the Judge’s paramount consideration.
In addition to this the Court will also have regard to the welfare checklist, which includes the following:-
a) The wishes and feelings of a child concerned in light of their age, understanding and majority;
b) The physical, emotional and educational needs of the child;
c) The likely effect on the child of any change of circumstances;
d) The child’s age, sex, background and any characteristics of which the Court considers relevant;
e) Any harm that the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering;
f) How capable are each of the parents or any other person in relation to the Court considers the question to be relevant, in meeting their needs,
g) The range of powers available to the Court.
The Court will also consider whether it is better to make no Order at all. For example, when everyone is agreed, it is felt that children should not be generally subject of Court Orders unless they really must be. This is known as the ‘No Order Principle’. Finally, the Court will have regard to the general principal that any delay resolving questions concerning a child, is likely to be harmful to the child.