Children's interests must come first when parents separate
Tuesday 29 July 2008
CHILDREN 1ST has told MSPs that the welfare of the child must be the priority when decisions are made about contact following parental separation.
In response to a Parliament petition on family law, CHILDREN 1ST has emphasised that decision making around contact between a child and family members after separation must focus on what is best for the child - adults' interests must come second.
In particular, CHILDREN 1ST has rejected any blanket enforcement of contact arrangements because of the risk that a child's safety may be jeopardised. Domestic violence is all too common in Scotland, affecting approximately one in five families. Scottish courts need to make sure that where a child may be harmed by continuing contact, their safety is the paramount concern of all involved.
Tom Roberts, head of public affairs at CHILDREN 1ST, said: "We often hear in the news about problems related to contact between a parent or grandparent, with a child after separation or divorce. We know from calls to our helpline ParentLine Scotland that agreeing contact arrangements can be very difficult, particularly because parental relationships are often complex and sensitive.
We know that it is not easy, but we call on everyone affected by separation or divorce to focus on what is best for the child - only by doing this, can positive contact between the child and those they love be agreed by all."
CHILDREN 1ST's submission to the Scottish Parliament Petitions Committee is attached below.
To find out more about ParentLine Scotland (0808 800 2222), please click here.
Last updated: Saturday 11 April 2009