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Entries in legal (4)


Victoria Derbyshire discusses Grandparents lack of legal rights

Victoria DerbyshireOn BBC Radio 5 live  Victoria Derbyshire today hosted a phone-in and debate on grandparents lack of legal rights to see their grandchildren. 

"Victoria hears from grandparents who've been arrested or cautioned after trying to contact their grandchildren after a family fall-out. As the law stands at the moment grandparents have no legal rights to see their grandchild. It means they can be denied access following rows with their children or after bitter divorce cases. Victoria speaks to grandparents and to a Conservative MP who says police are being too heavy handed."

The programme can be accessed on BBC iPlayer for 7 days. Alternatively you can download Victoria Derbyshire's Interviews of the Week podcast.


Caveats: An Early Warning System

In Scotland you can lodge a caveat at court to warn you in advance if anyone applies for an interim interdict against you.  By lodging the caveat you afford yourself the opportunity to be heard.  A caveat enables you to state your opposition to an interim interdict being granted against you. A caveat may be lodged at the Sheriff Court or the Court of Session.

A caveat lodged at the Sheriff Court must be written in a prescribed form under SSI 2006/198 Act of Sederunt (Sheriff Court Caveat Rules) 2006. The Schedule of this Statutory Instrument contains an example Form of Caveat. The caveat must be lodged with the sheriff clerk.

A caveat lodged at the Court of Session must also be written in a prescribed form. Under the Rules of the Court of Session a caveat shall be in Form 5.2 and lodged in the Petition Department.

A caveat lasts for one year from the date it is lodged and can be renewed on an annual basis.

There is a £30 fee to lodge a caveat at the Sheriff Court and a £45 fee to lodge a caveat at the Court of Session. If you instruct a solicitor to lodge a caveat then the solicitor will have their own additional fee.

Families Need Fathers Scotland would welcome comments from any members who have lodged a caveat themselves. Comments to scotland@fnf.org.uk


How the law views fathers in Scotland

Janys Scott speaking at Glasgow Art ClubAt a well-attended event organised to mark the first year of work by the Families Need Fathers office in Scotland and the success of the Glagow FNF Branch, Janys Scott QC delivered a presentation on the changes in the way fathers have been viewed in Scottish family law. 

Her own recent cases include the successful challenge to the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 on human rights grounds (Principal Reporter v K).  This December 2010 decision now requires courts and children's hearings to read that legislation in a different way in respect of unmarried fathers without parental rights who have established family life with their children.

Her discussion of decisions since Lord Dunpark's very negatve 1986 decision to award custody to a mother and refuse the father access in Porchetta v Porchetta illustrated the positive direction law for fathers has taken over the last 25 years. 

A father's value is now more fully recognised and the terminology is less negative in the Scottish courts in cases involving contact and residence, although her presentation and the discussion afterwards revealed that there are still a wide range of legal and social issues to be resolved.  Fathers from Glasgow FNF group gave their own examples of difficulty in seeing or maintaining contact with their children.

Text of the presentation is now available, and film of the event will be uploaded soon.


New DIY guide to Scottish Family Courts 

FNF Scotland has published a new Guide for Party Litigants and Lay Assistants to help applicants for contact or residence understand the relevant law and court procedures.

Families Need Fathers Scotland always suggest negotiation or mediation is preferable to going to court.

Sometimes, unfortunately, it can't be avoided. Increasingly we are seeing more party litigants representing themselves either because of the cost of going to court or the scarcity of family law solicitors willing to take on legal aid cases.

The Guide should also be of assistance to fathers who do have legal representation to understand the procedures and be better equipped to draw up a constructive strategy with their solicitor.

Representing yourself in a Scottish Family Court - a guide for party litigants in child contact cases is available to download from this site.  FNF Scotland welcomes comments and notes of personal experience for inclusion in this guide.