This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

LPC Law Notes Family Notes

Family S.25 Notes

Updated Family S.25 Notes

Family Notes


Approximately 181 pages

A collection of the best LPC Family Law notes the director of Oxbridge Notes (an Oxford law graduate) could find after combing through twenty-nine LPC samples from outstanding students with the highest results in England and carefully evaluating each on accuracy, formatting, logical structure, spelling/grammar, conciseness and "wow-factor".

In short these are what we believe to be the strongest set of LPC Family Law notes available in the UK this year. This collection of notes is fully updated...

The following is a more accessible plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Family Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

S8 certain orders people can apply for, able to deal with a wide range of disputes (not exhaustive)

The welfare principle:

  • S1(1) CA 1989: when a court determines any question with regards to:

    • A child’s upbringing (or aspect)

    • Administration of child’s property

  • The child’s welfare SHALL be the PARAMOUNT consideration

  • But what does welfare mean?

    • No statutory definition

    • Re McGrath (infants) (1893): welfare of the child is not to be measured by money alone nor by physical comfort only. The word welfare must be taken in its broadest sense. The moral and religious welfare must also be considered as well as its physical well-being. Nor can the ties of affection be ignored. Not money/ luxurious or physical benefit only, not determinative- ie. Emotional, moral, religious- balance all aspects for child’s development

    • CF v. Secretary of State: concepts of welfare have changed and will continue to change -no set concept, look at particular child, different child will react differently, ie. Old school physical punishment is not acceptable now and will cause some child to rebel

    • Consider Re G (Education: Religious upbringing):

      • Welfare is synonymous with well-being and interests

      • Long term welfare- which education will bring widest range of opportunities in the future

      • Not baseless prediction but need to work out facts the court have to consider

      • Embraces everything that relates to a child’s development as a human being

      • Must consider welfare now, throughout minority and into and through adulthood

      • Should take medium to long term view

      • Should not accord excessive weight to short term or transient factors

      • How far into the future depends on context and nature of the issue

      • Involves a welfare appraisal in the widest sense

      • Taking account of where appropriate: wide range of ethical, social, moral, religious, cultural, emotional and welfare considerations

      • Everything that relates to a child’s present and future life is potentially relevant

      • Judge must take a holistic approach

      • In court’s discretionary, case to case basis- Court too much power? But what alternative? Can we structure discretion as different child needs different things- Discretion inevitable but can possibly do better in Child Act, current state welfare is fluid

      • Undesirable and impossible to set bounds to what is relevant

      • Welfare cannot be assessed in isolation and must consider child’s network of relationships (John Herring: relationship based welfare- law should be amended to reflect that, Court claim in practice they are looking at it)

    • Thus, there is a high degree of discretion and context involved

    • Are there any guidelines or factors?

      • S1(3): welfare checklist to which the courts must have regard to in:

      • S1(4): all contested S8 applications, applications for SGO, all proceedings for care and supervision. May also be used for other proceedings such as PR applications.

      • Common factors, up to judge to decide to include which and consider how much weight of the factors, and can consider factors outside checklist if relevant to child- Law does not set

      • Checklist is not exhaustive or definitive

      • Does not specify how much weight to accord to each factor

      • Judge can consider outside factors if relevant

  • S1(3) Welfare Checklist:

    1. Ascertainable wishes and feelings of child in light of his age and understanding

      • Re P(minors): not determinative

      • Re P-S(children): no presumption that wishes of mature child must prevail

      • But wishes of mature children where appropriate do carry some weight

      • In Re JS (a child) (Disposal of Body)[2016] –On how to preserve body of the terminal ill child, opposed by estranged father on religious grounds: child can explain their wishes in details so well and court thinks is most important decision (not always the case)- Factor motivated judge is that her wishes is so strong and able to articulate, none of other considerations can come close, is in her welfare and only way that make her comfort to ensure her final wishes to enjoy her last few months by bringing her peace

      • But ultimate decision depends on welfare

      • Court not compel to reflect child’s wishes, not always deserve some/any weight but not utmost important- maybe not what child want but best interest

      • Gillick: not apply, competent will only bring more weight but ultimate discretion lies in hands of judge

    2. Child’s physical, educational and emotional needs

  • Stephenson v. Stephenson: disadvantages of a material sort carry little weight

  • But must at least be able to have basics

  • Not determinative but need to be in position to meet child’s minimum basic needs

  • Re G (Education: Religious Upbringing): consider the child’s relationship network to each parent and extended family

  • Brixley v. Lynas: needs of very young child served by mother –not blanket presumption, very young child needs related to sex factors ie. Breast-feed for new-born to 1 years old, rather as a recognition

  • But is there presumption in favour of mother being better able to serve child’s needs? Father’s right group oppose- Court always in favour of mother able giving care and bond with child

  • Re W(A minor) (Residence Order): yes, but in the case of very young baby (not set and need round the clock care but if use bottle-feed using formula milk since born will not be the case)

  • Re G (children) (Same Sex Partners): no, welfare is paramount (no one parent is assumed or presumed to be better to provide care)

  • Is there a presumption that child’s needs are best served by natural parent?

  • Re G (children) (Same Sex Partners): seem to indicate that being natural parent carries more weight Lesbian couple with one genetic and one social parent, toe-to-toe battle won by genetic parent (only as a tie-breaking factor)

  • Re B (A child) (Residence: Biological Parents): that may be ordinarily true. But many disputes are not ordinary. All considerations...must be firmly rooted in an examination of child’s best interests. This is the paramount consideration. Non-genetic parent (grandparents) awarded against biological father as he is...

Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our Family Notes.