When a relationship breaks down, the future of the children is often the most important and difficult matter that parents need to agree on.
When resolving child arrangements, such as where children will live and how they will be financially supported, it is important to focus on the well-being of the children and make sure the decisions that are made are in their best interests.
Not only can this help avoid conflicts that lead to expensive litigation and serious lasting damage, it can also help to maintain relationships and the future harmony of the family.
Our family law team, headed by Partner and Accredited Family Law Specialist, Mediator and Collaborative Family Lawyer Jacqueline Stroud, draw on over 45 years’ experience to help clients make arrangements for their children following separation or divorce. Our aim is to find a solution that is practical, amicable and in the best interests of the children. If matters cannot be resolved and it is necessary to involve the courts, we ensure our clients are fully and effectively represented.
At MacRoberts, our family law solicitors are some of the best in Scotland. We work closely with our clients, whether they’re based in the UK or abroad, to help them find the best possible outcome for their children. We understand that the child issues arising on divorce can be particularly challenging, which is why we take a pragmatic, collaborative and sensitive approach. Here we provide a brief overview of some of the matters relating to children and divorce we regularly assist with. For more information and to arrange an initial free 15-minute consultation, please contact us.
Residence and Contact
Sometimes referred to as custody and access, residence and contact are often the most contentious issues a separated or divorcing couple must agree on. In most circumstances, it is far better for the couple to reach a consensus out of the court system, rather than pursuing a lengthy legal battle that results in the court making decisions about the family’s future.
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 party 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).
Parental Rights and Responsibilities
Parental rights and responsibilities confer the ability to make decisions about a child’s health, development and welfare, such as in relation to residence, medical treatment and education. It is not uncommon for parents, or any other person who has been granted parental rights and responsibilities (such as step-parents or grandparents), to disagree about these matters. In many cases, they will be able to put their differences aside and work together, usually through alternative dispute resolution, to find a solution that’s in the best interests of the child. If an agreement cannot be reached, the matter may have to be put in the hands of the courts.
If a parent wants to move to another country with their children, whether within the UK or beyond, they must either get consent from the other parent (and any other person with parental rights or responsibilities) or permission from the court via a specific issue order. As with all child law matters in Scotland, the overriding consideration when making a decision about relocation is whether it is in the children’s best interests, which includes maintaining relationships with both parents. Relocation therefore needs to be planned as carefully, and diplomatically, as possible. If it is not possible to reach an agreement about a proposed relocation, the team at MacRoberts can help with the court proceedings required to obtain the court’s consent.
UK or International Child Abduction
Where a child is removed to another part of the UK without the other parent’s consent, the parent left behind can apply to the Scottish courts for an order for their child’s return, which can be enforced in the part of the UK where the child has been taken. International child abduction, where a child is taken across international boundaries without the consent of the other parent, engages the criminal justice system and is a criminal offence in Scotland. MacRoberts are experienced in dealing with the applications made under the Hague Convention seeking the return of a child who has been wrongfully removed to another country.
Children & Divorce
Whatever child law matter you may be facing, it’s vital that the children’s best interests are the paramount consideration. At MacRoberts, the head of our family law team, partner Jacqueline Stroud, is well-known for her approachable and down-to-earth manner, using her vast knowledge and experience of child and divorce law to help her clients find a workable solution.
MacRoberts – Trusted Divorce & Child Law Lawyers 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 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.