Your children are your greatest concern, and they are our greatest concern also. Their interests must come first. We need to consider together the impact and effect of any decisions on your children and to prioritise them, assisting them also to move forward and adjust. We need to work together to protect them and ensure a secure and happy future for them. We have a wealth of experience in child-related disputes over contact, disputes over with whom the child or children should reside and in relocation applications.
Your child or children are of paramount importance. Indeed, the legal test for any Scottish Court determining whether a court order should be made in relation to a child or children should be made is "what is in the best interests of that child or children, and would it be better for that child that an order be made than that no order be made."
The courts are directed to adopt a non-interventionalist to child-related issues, and will only make orders if it would be better for the child or children that they be made or not. We will always try to negotiate an amicable resolution and to come to an agreement regarding contact arrangements for children with non-resident parents. If arrangements can be agreed amicably, our experience and that of The Family Law Association Scotland and Avenue (Mediation) is that they will operate more smoothly.
Ideally, in most situations, what your children want and need is to know that they are loved by both parents, that they will have t with their non-resident parent and when that contact will take place. In general, children like to have a routine so that they know when they are to see and spend time with their non-resident parent. Children often blame themselves for the breakdown of their parent's relationships, and it is extremely important for them to be reassured that they are not at fault and that both parents love them very much. Children will worry about what will change "Will I have to move house? What about my school? if we have to move, how will I see my friends?" It is very important for their security that they have answers, ideally presented by both parents together to reassure them.
If an amicable agreement cannot be reached, recourse to court should be considered without delay. It is important for the children and you, as a parent that there is not a long break in contact. The court will fix a Child Welfare Hearing which takes place in court but in private with just both parties, their solicitors, a bar officer, a sheriff clerk and the sheriff.