Habitual residence and a child's state of mind

Habitual residence and a child's state of mind
Family analysis: the relevance of the state of mind of children when determining their habitual residence is examined by David Williams QC, of 4 Paper Buildings, in the light of the Supreme Court judgment in Re LC.
Original news
In Re LC (Children) [2014] UKSC 1, [2014] All ER (D) 62 (Jan) the Supreme Court held that the courts could, in determining the habitual residence of an adolescent child who had resided in a place under the care of one of her parents, have regard to her own state of mind, during her period of residence there, in relation to the nature and quality of that residence. Further, the child should have been granted party status in the proceedings.
The proceedings had concerned the adolescent child and her three younger siblings who were living with their father in the United Kingdom, but whose habitual residence was found by the High Court and the Court of Appeal to have been in Spain with their mother. The Supreme Court remitted the issue of their habitual residence to the High Court.
What is the significance of the judgment?

The Supreme Court concluded that the state of mind of adolescents, or children who should be treated as adolescents, can be relevant to the determination of their habitual residence. That state of mind can therefore be included in the factual consideration of whether they are to some degree integrated in a social and family environment in that country, which is the test of habitual residence. Lady Hale and Lord Sumption considered that the state of mind of children of any age could be relevant, but ultimately this is a minority view.

Furthermore, in sibling groups where one or more of the group are adolescent and their state of mind can be considered, this could have an impact on the assessment of the habitual residence of the younger siblings. In Re LC only the eldest child, T, was an adolescent, but it was held that in determining

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