The most important consideration is what is in the child’s best interests. When a court decides an issue about the upbringing of a child, the child’s welfare will be paramount. The court will take into account various things (these are known as the “welfare checklist”), including:

  • The child’s own wishes (but these depends on how old they are and their understanding)
  • Their physical, emotional and educational needs
  • The likely effect on them of any change in his circumstances
  • Their age, sex, background and any of their characteristics that the court considers relevant
  • Any harm which they have suffered or are at risk of suffering
  • How capable each of their parents are of meeting their needs