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Children (Custodial Orders)

Volume 958: debated on Thursday 16 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will consider legislation to amend part III of the Children Act 1975 to give the courts the duty of ascertaining the wishes of the child before making a custody order.

No. Existing legislation requires courts to regard the welfare of the child as the paramount consideration in deciding questions relating to custody. Subject to this general requirement the courts may, depending on age and understanding of the child and the other circumstances of the case, exercise their discretion to ascertain the wishes of the child.