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Government Consults Over Family Justice Modernisation Strategy

25 May 2018 Written by Davidson Shirley Solicitors Category: Family Law

The Scottish Government has launched a consultation over a proposed family justice modernisation strategy. 

This follows a commitment made as part of its Programme for Government to consult on a review of the provisions of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 relating to parental responsibilities and rights and contact and residence cases involving children.

Issues the Scottish Government is seeking views on include:

  • How the court obtains the views of the child in family cases
  • Protection of victims of domestic abuse and their children during family court proceedings
  • Regulation of child contact centres and of child welfare reporters who advise sheriffs and judges in family court cases
  • How children can maintain relationships with key adults in their lives
  • Alternatives to court such as family mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution

Campaign group Families Need Fathers Scotland, which would like to see a presumption of shared parenting introduced in Scotland, has welcomed the consultation.

"We have been pressing the case for a comprehensive review for several years,” explained National Manager, Ian Maxwell. “The moment has come and we look forward to an overhaul of Scottish family law that will bring the legislation in line with life as it is lived in modern Scotland."

"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,” he added. “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 which damage relationships long after their court case is over and the sheriff has gone home. "

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