Child Law in Scotland can cover a wide range of issues including Adoption, Residence and Contact, Children's Panels and Education issues. Our solicitors at Lanarkshire Law Practice are vastly experienced in all of these areas and in addition to sound legal advice we will offer practical advice and support to you.
The Law governing issues in relation to the care of children is the Children (Scotland) Act 1995. This law gives parental rights and responsibilities to all mothers, married fathers and some unmarried fathers provided their child was born after March 2006 and their name has been entered on the child’s birth certificate. The law takes the view that it is better for children if their parents can make joint decisions in relation to their welfare. However, if disputes arise which cannot be resolved by them then the Courts will intervene and Orders will be made. The courts can make orders in relation to where a child should live (A Residence Order); the contact that they should with the parent with whom they do not live (a Contact Order) and in relation to specific issues concerning the child’s welfare; for example, the school they should attend and medical treatment they should receive (A Specific Issue Order). In deciding applications for these Orders, the court will decide them based primarily on what is in the best interests of the child. Depending upon the age of the child, they may be given an opportunity to express their view about the Order which the court is being asked to grant. It should be noted that any person with an interest can seek Orders from the Court in respect of a child. We have experience in raising and defending such actions for fathers who do not have parental rights and responsibilities and also grandparents and stepparents
Children’s Panels and Adoption
Unfortunately, sometimes parents for a variety of reasons; be it social issues or the child’s behaviour, struggle to care properly for their children. In these cases, the State will intervene to ensure that these children are properly cared for. Such children can be referred on a number grounds to the Scottish Children’s Reporter who, if satisfied that the child may be in need of compulsory measures of care, will fix a children’s hearing in relation to the child. If the facts which led to the child being referred is accepted by the parents and the child then the Panel will decide if a Compulsory Supervision Order (CSO) should be made in relation to the child. Sometimes, the parents and/or the child disputes the facts and in that situation, the case is referred to the Sheriff for the Sheriff to decide if the facts are established or not. If they are established the case is referred back to the Panel for decisions about the child’s care to be taken by them. CSOs can involve supervision by the social work department at home; in foster care or in some cases in secure accomodation. Whilst it was always possible for parents and children to be legally represented at children’s hearings, legal aid was not available until 2013. It is now possible for parents and some children themselves to obtain legal aid and to have a solicitor attend at a children’s hearing with them. We have considerable experience in the conduct of such hearings.
Do you need help with issues in relation to child law? Call Lanarkshire Law Practice