Deciding and agreeing child arrangements in a way that safeguards relationships and preserves harmony for the family can be especially challenging when a relationship breaks down.
We take a sensitive approach, whatever child law matter our clients may be facing, aimed at helping them protect, maintain and promote the welfare of their children both in the present and the future. Here we provide an overview of some the child law matters we regularly assist clients with. For more information and to arrange an initial free 15-minute consultation, please contact us.
Child Residence & Contact (Child Custody) in Scotland
Child residence (sometimes referred to as child custody) and contact (sometimes referred to as access) are often the most contentious issues a separated or divorcing couple must agree on. In most circumstances, it is far better for the parents to reach a consensus out of the courts, rather than pursuing a lengthy legal battle that results in the court making decisions about the family’s future.
If a decision cannot be reached, it is possible to ask the court to make a residence order, a contact order or both. A residence order regulates who a child lives with and during what periods. A contact order regulates arrangements for maintaining personal relations and direct contact with a child. Any other issue, such as education or child relocation, can be regulated by a specific issue order.
When reaching a decision on child residence and contact, or any other matter relating to children, the court’s paramount consideration is the welfare and best interests of the child. The court will also put emphasis on providing a stable environment and may take into account the views of the children depending on their age and levels of maturity. It is also generally accepted that children should have the benefit of a relationship with both of their parents.
We regularly help clients to resolve child arrangements. Our aim is to help them find a solution that is practical, amicable and in the best interests of the children. If court proceedings cannot be avoided, our specialist family law litigators are ready to help clients navigate the system and make sure they are fully represented.
Child Maintenance and Support
As in most matters relating to children, it is often in everyone’s best interest if child maintenance is agreed privately between the parents (both of whom owe financial obligations to their children). This allows for an arrangement to be made that truly reflects the needs of the children and each of the parents’ financial circumstances.
If a reasonable arrangement cannot be agreed, an application can be made by either parent to the Child Maintenance Service, which uses a formula to calculate how much is payable. In some circumstances, such as for support in respect of school fees, university costs or step-children, or where a parent lives abroad, it may be necessary to apply to the Court for aliment (an order for support).
Working within Scotland’s largest independent law firm, we use our specialist family law knowledge and experience, coupled with cross-disciplinary expertise, to find the best possible solution for our clients, whether they’re based in the UK or abroad.
Child relocation can be particularly unsettling, making it one of the most difficult areas of family law. The best approach is to try to set differences aside and attempt to reach a mutually acceptable decision that takes into account the interests and rights of all those involved. If a party tries to go it alone, without being properly informed, they could find themselves facing child abduction proceedings.
We regularly help clients to resolve child relocation issues and formalise arrangements. Our aim is to find a solution that is practical, amicable and in the best interests of the children. If court action is unavoidable, our effective and experienced family law litigators fight tirelessly on our clients’ behalf throughout the entire process.
MacRoberts – Trusted Child Law Solicitors in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee & Scotland
Drawing on over 45 years combined knowledge and experience, within one of Scotland’s most prestigious independent law firms, the family law team at MacRoberts, headed by Partner and Accredited Family Law Specialist, Mediator and Collaborative Family Lawyer Jacqueline Stroud, are leaders in their field.
We recognise that most of our clients want to maintain as much as possible, in terms of their financial security. Using the vast resources and cross-departmental expertise at our disposal, we pride ourselves on finding and implementing innovative, practical solutions for all our clients, whether they are based in Scotland or abroad.
We also understand that expense can be an additional concern, which is why we always aim to keep costs down and are as transparent and upfront as possible about the fees involved. For a free, initial 15-minute consultation, whatever family law matter you may be facing, please contact us.