Fathers get say in shaping Scots family law

Dad child

Father Network Scotland groups are to be actively involved in the consultation on shared parenting

29th May 2018 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

A meeting taking place in Aberdeen in June will act as a focus group for civil servants running the Scottish Government review of the “bruising, slow and expensive” family court process in Scotland.

The Scottish Government has launched a public consultation on the law that governs the arrangements for sharing care of children when their parents separate.

During the consultation period the civil servants conducting the review will attend several Fathers Need Families (FNF) Scotland group meetings to get insight into the personal, financial and relationship costs of the current system from people who have experience of it and hear their suggestions for changes.

The Aberdeen meeting will be on 21 June at Aberdeen Grammar School FP Club, 86 Queens Road

Ian Maxwell, FNF Scotland national manager, said: "We are delighted that the civil servants will be using our regular meetings as focus groups. The majority of attendees at our monthly groups are separated fathers but we also have a regular presence of mothers, grandparents, new partners and aunts and uncles at our Aberdeen group.

“Most are shocked by how bruising, slow and expensive it is to go to court and how difficult it is to enforce a court order one made - and above all how the process can put intolerable stress on the children involved when  their parents are belittling and undermining each other. The vast majority of research as well as common sense indicates that children do better in most areas of their lives when both parents are meaningfully involved in their lives.

"We believe a rebuttable presumption of shared parenting after separation will help the individuals involved draw up arrangements that genuinely put the interests of their children first. There are too many incentives in the 'winner takes all' approach of the current system that promote character attacks on each parent by the other and which damage relationships long after their court case is over and the sheriff has gone home. "