Section 1(1) of the Children Act 1989 states that when a court determines any question with respect to the upbringing of a child or the administration of a child's property or the application of any income arising from it, the child's welfare shall be the court's first paramount consideration.
Section 1(3) Children Act 1989 requires the court to have regard to a statutory checklist of factors whenever it is considering, amongst other things, making a s8 order. The checklist comprises of the following factors, which are all considered to carry equal weight, although some will be more appropriate in certain cases than others:
a) The ascertainable wishes and feeling of the child concerned (in light of his age and understanding);
b) His physical, emotional, and educational needs;
c) The likely effect on him of any change in circumstances;
d) His age, sex, background, and any characteristics of his which the court considered 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 considered the question to be relevant, is of meeting his needs; and
g) The range of powers available to the court under the Children Act 1989 in the proceedings in question.