Our push for changes to Scottish family law and improvemants in the working of family court system is gaining support from various sources. Following publication of our Shared Parenting report in Holyrood and Strasbourg last June we have started having meetings with MSPs and child and family organisations.
One of the first meetings was with Kate Forbes, the SNP MSP for Skye, Badenoch and Lochaber, following some help we gave to one of her constituents in a cross-UK border contact case. Since her election to the Scottish Parliament last May she has already dealt with two child contact cases raised by her constituents, an indication of the incidence of such issues.
As well as talking about shared parenting, family law reform and cross border issues, we also discussed how FNF Scotland could try in future to provide more support to separated fathers in rural and island communities in Scotland, both by linking up people in similar situations and by arranging an annual meeting in places like Skye.
Following the meeting Kate commented: “It was helpful to meet with Families Need Fathers Scotland at the Scottish Parliament, and I applaud their resources for parents who are not living in the family home anymore, as well as their help for other family members affected by contact problems."
“I believe that more could be done to encourage the concept of shared parenting following family breakdown, rather than identifying a ‘resident’ parent and a ‘contact’ parent, and this is something FNFS are working towards. I will be writing to Annabelle Ewing, the Scottish Government minister with responsibility for family law, to see if fresh guidance could improve outcomes for children and families in this particular area.”
If you are interested in contacting your own MSP we can provide briefing material - email John Forsyth for details or ring 0131 557 2440.