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Impact of child's views on residence

14 March 2011

We acted on behalf of a father who was involved in a dispute with his ex wife over the residence of his son. The son was 11 years of age and lived with his father. The father wished to relocate from London to Milton Keynes. The son expressed his wish to live with his mother who lived in London although it became clear that his wish was to live in London rather than live with his mother and he was anxious about having to leave his friends and start a new school in Milton Keynes.

The mother issued a court application and following her application, Cafcass became involved. The son stated he wished to remain living in London. Nevertheless, the mother’s application for a residence order was refused. Notwithstanding the child’s wishes and feelings at the age of 11, the judge considered the child’s needs were best met by maintaining the status quo and for the son to continue living with the father.