An older child’s wishes MAY be overridden if it may seriously compromise their welfare.

An older child’s wishes MAY be overridden if it may seriously compromise their welfare.

  • In 2008, a residence order was made in the father's (F) favour, while a contact order was made in the mother's (M) in regards to their four children.
  • After F's remarriage, one of their children (N), spent more time with M and eventually had no contact with F. M then gained permission to live abroad with N.
  • On their return in 2016, N was suffering from anorexia and depression while M was also mentally and physically ill, even relying on N to care for her.
  • Under the Mental Health Act 1983, N was detained for treatment while F issued proceedings for CAO's providing N to live with him once she was discharged from hospital. N however wanted to live with M.
  • L v L 2017 therefore saw MacDonald J grant F's application, on the grounds that an older child's wishes may be overridden if it may seriously compromise their welfare (Section 1(3)(a) of CA 1989). Unusually, this case saw a CAO that was anticipatory in nature, there was a need for N to have certainty about her future living arrangements in order to aid her recovery.