What Does the Court Consider in Children Matters in the UK?

What does the Court consider in children matters in the UK? Kelly Grigg, a family lawyer at Richard Nelson LLP, outlines how the Court handles children matters when parents divorce.

Richard Nelson LLP is a leading firm for 2021, part of the legal 500. Our family lawyers have been accredited by the Law Society for Family Law and Children Law.


On receipt of an application, Section 1 (5) of the Children Act requires the Court to ask “will it be better for the child to make the order than to make no order at all?”

The Children and Families Act 2014 introduced the presumption that unless the contrary is shown, the involvement of a parent in the life of a child will further the child’s welfare, whether it is direct or indirect. Unless there is evidence before the Court that a child would be at risk of suffering significant harm.

In deciding this the Court needs to look into the “Welfare Principle” which is to be considered by the Court before making any Order. The checklist included in the Act is as follows:

  • What are the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned? (Considered in the light of age and understanding)
  • What are the child’s physical, emotional and educational needs?
  • What is the likely effect of any change in circumstance?
  • Age, sex, background and any other characteristic the Court considers relevant
  • Any harm the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering
  • How capable each of the parents, and any other applicant, is of meeting the child’s needs

Work with a family law specialist

Get in touch with Kelly to discuss court considerations in children matters

Kelly Grigg is a family solicitor with a wealth of experience helping a wide range of clients on family law matters.

With years of experience comes the understanding that every family is different. Kelly offers assistance and representation at court on family law matters including divorce and separation; pre- and post-nuptial agreements; children matters; unmarried couples; financial matters; and domestic abuse and protection orders.

At what is a stressful and emotional time, Kelly prides herself in avoiding legal speak. She will clearly explain your options and the processes involved, so you feel in control every step of the way.

Kelly understands that family life can be hectic at the best of times and is happy to make arrangements for out of hours appointments where needed.


“I really can’t thank you enough for all you have done for me with my divorce. The process has been made easier by your understanding of my situation and the care you have provided. I breathe a sigh of relief that it’s nearly over and my future is a whole lot happier and brighter.”

A client

“Kelly is a professional, friendly and supportive Solicitor. She helped my son gain access to his daughter, advising him every step of the way. I would highly recommend Kelly.”

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