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The Welfare Checklist

The Welfare Checklist is a legal list of considerations related to decision making in family law, set out in the Children Act 1989. The Court must heed these considerations when determining arrangements for children.

It is vitally important that your arguments make reference to the considerations set out in the Welfare Checklist, and that you consider how these relate to your ex-partnerís and your children's circumstances. What are your children's wishes and needs (the two may not always be the same)? How will they be affected by change.

Remember that the court is more interested in why your child's relationship with you is important, not the other way around... it's about the child's needs, not yours!

Section 1(3) of the Children Act 1989
The Welfare Checklist
...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 his 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.

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Michael Robinson © 2012

Family law information for parents whose children are resident in England and Wales

Crown Copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's printer for Scotland.

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