Child Law Scotland

Secure The Best Interests Of Your Child

Child law in Scotland covers a wide range of legal issues that pertain to children, including their rights and protections. This can include areas such as child custody and parenting arrangements, child abuse and neglect, adoption and fostering, and access to education and healthcare. The goal of child law in Scotland is to ensure that the rights and wellbeing of children are safeguarded, and that they are able to grow and develop in a safe and supportive environment.

Residence, Contact and Specific Issues

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 and cannot be resolved by the parents then the Courts will intervene and Orders will be made. The courts will typically try to reach a decision that is in the best interests of the child, taking into account their wishes and feelings (if they are old enough to express them), as well as the wishes of the parents. In addition to the above, the court may also make specific issue orders and residence orders. Specific issue orders are used to determine a specific question in relation to a child such as where a child should go to school or what religion they should be raised. Residence orders determine where a child should live.

Children's Panels and Adoption

Unfortunately, sometimes parents for a variety of reasons; be it social issues or personal factors, struggle to care properly for their children. In these cases, the State will intervene to ensure that these children are properly cared for. We have considerable experience in the conduct of children’s hearings. Our solicitors regularly attend meetings and courts around Lanarkshire including Hamilton, Airdrie, Lanark and Glasgow. We also conduct online hearings at our Bellshill office. Adoption is governed by the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007 and the Adoption Scotland Act 2010. Potential adopters must be over the age of 21 and meet eligibility criteria. The adoption process in Scotland begins with an application to an adoption agency. There are several adoption agencies operating in Scotland, including local authorities and voluntary organizations. Adoption is a serious step and should not be taken lightly. Our solicitors can guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have.

Child Abuse and Neglect

The protection of children from abuse and neglect is a key area of child law in Scotland. The law provides for various measures to ensure that children are safe and well-cared for, including the ability for the government to intervene in cases where a child is at risk of harm. This can include removing a child from their home and placing them in foster care or with other relatives, or taking legal action against the parents or caregivers. If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, it is important to report it to the relevant authorities immediately. Our solicitors can provide guidance and support if you find yourself in this difficult situation. Education and Healthcare In addition to the above, child law in Scotland also covers topics such as access to education and healthcare. Children have the right to an education, and parents have a legal duty to ensure that their child is provided with an education. Our solicitors can advise on the different types of education available, including state and private schools, and can assist with any disputes that may arise. Children also have the right to access healthcare. This includes the right to receive emergency treatment, as well as ongoing care for any health issues.


Guardianship is an important aspect of Scottish child law. A guardian is a person appointed by the court to make decisions on behalf of a child in relation to their welfare, education, and property. Guardianship can be granted to parents, grandparents, or other family members, and can be awarded on a temporary or permanent basis. Our child law solicitors have extensive experience in guardianship matters and can provide guidance and support throughout the process.

Child Protection

Child protection is a key aspect of Scottish child law. The government has a duty to ensure that children are protected from harm and abuse. This includes the ability for the government to intervene in cases where a child is at risk of harm.  Our child law solicitors have extensive experience in child protection matters and can provide guidance and support throughout the process.

We also cover Wishaw, Motherwell and Shotts

Our family lawyers provide services in the areas of Wishaw, Motherwell, and Shotts. We understand the importance of providing legal services that are easily accessible for our clients. Our solicitors regularly attend meetings and courts in these areas, and also conduct online hearings at our Bellshill office.

Parental Responsibilities

Under Scottish child law, parents have legal responsibilities towards their children. These responsibilities include providing for the child’s maintenance, education, and welfare. Our solicitors can provide guidance and support to parents in understanding and fulfilling their parental responsibilities.


Maintenance is an important aspect of Scottish child law. Parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children. This can include paying for the child’s accommodation, food, clothing, and education. Our family lawyers can provide guidance and support in matters related to maintenance, including drafting agreements and representing clients in court.

Scottish Child Law Specialists

Our team of child law solicitors are specialists in Scottish child law. We have extensive experience in all aspects of child law, including custody and parenting arrangements, child protection, guardianships, and maintenance. We pride ourselves on providing a professional, compassionate, and client-centred service.

Free Initial Consultation with and Expert

We understand that dealing with child law matters can be stressful and overwhelming. That’s why we offer a free initial consultation to all new clients. During this consultation, our child law solicitors will discuss your case with you and provide you with advice and guidance on the next steps to take. This will give you the opportunity to understand your legal rights and options without any financial obligation.

Protecting Your Child's Rights

Our primary goal as family lawyers is to protect the rights of your child. We understand that each case is unique and requires a tailored approach.

Our solicitors will work closely with you to understand your child’s needs and wishes, and will strive to achieve the best possible outcome for them.

We have detailed below some questions regarding children’s rights.

What are the child law provisions in Lanarkshire?

The Lanarkshire Council provides a range of child law provisions to protect the rights of children and young people in the area. These include the provision of care and protection services, including emergency/short-term accommodation and ongoing housing, as well as advocacy and legal services. The Council also has responsibility for the Children’s Hearing system, which provides a means of resolving disputes between parents and their children, or those of other families. In addition, Lanarkshire Council is responsible for providing advice and guidance to children and young people on issues such as education, health, housing and finances. Finally, the Council is responsible for overseeing childcare provision and ensuring that appropriate standards are met.

Are there any special laws for children in Scotland?

Children in Lanarkshire are protected by a number of laws that are specific to their age and status. The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 is the main piece of legislation that outlines the rights and responsibilities of all children in Scotland, and applies to those living in Lanarkshire. Additionally, the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 (Enforcement of Parental Responsibilities) Regulations 1998 and the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 (Secure Accommodation) Amendment Regulations 2000 provide additional legal protection for children in Lanarkshire. These regulations cover matters such as the involvement of the local authority in the care and welfare of children, enforcement of parental responsibilities, and secure residential accommodation for young people in need of special protection.

What legal aid is available for children in Lanarkshire?

Legal aid services are available for children and families in Lanarkshire, Scotland. The Lanarkshire Council and Health Board offer free legal advice, representation, and assistance to children and families who cannot afford to pay for legal services. The Lanarkshire Council and Health Board’s legal services are available to help with family law issues, such as adoption, guardianship, and child protection. They provide advice and legal representation in court, including child welfare hearings, family court hearings, and other proceedings. Additionally, the Lanarkshire Council and Health Board offers free advice and support to those who are considering legal action, such as making an application to the court, or pursuing a legal dispute. If you need legal aid services for a child or family in Lanarkshire, please contact the Lanarkshire Council and Health Board for more information.

What are the rights of parents in Lanarkshire regarding their children?

Parents in Lanarkshire have a number of rights related to their children. These include the right to be informed about and consulted on decisions made by education and health providers in relation to their child. Parents also have the right to participate in their child’s education and to be consulted about any proposed changes to their child’s educational placement. Additionally, Parents have the right to be heard in the process of child protection, and the right to be informed of any proposed changes to their child’s care. Finally, parents have the right to access information and services relating to their children, including health and education services.

Is there any particular advice for parents concerning their children's rights under Scots law?

As a parent in Lanarkshire, it is important to be aware of the rights your children have under the law. The Law Society of Scotland provides a useful guide for parents which outlines the rights their children have in Lanarkshire. These include the right to access health services and education, the right to be protected from abuse or neglect, and the right to be involved in decisions about their life. It is also important for parents to be aware of their children’s rights to privacy and to be consulted about any decisions that affect them. Parents should also be aware of their own rights as parents, including the right to be involved in their children’s upbringing and education. Finally, parents should ensure they are aware of any local laws that may affect their children’s rights, such as those related to child protection.


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