I offer guidance to parents (both married and unmarried), grandparents and other relatives as well as other carers about how best to tackle these subjects, and suggest solutions.
Children are often those who suffer most when a relationship breaks down. The law in Scotland makes the welfare of children paramount where there is disagreement about what is best for them.
Worrying issues for the adults involved are often:
• Where are the children going to stay (known as residence)?
• When will they see the parent they are not staying with, and for how long (contact)?
• How will the children keep in contact with grandparents and other family members?
• How much maintenance should be paid for each child, and how do you make sure it is paid?
What can you do to help yourself?
Try to remember that it is usually a good thing for children to have full relationships with both their parents
- it is difficult, but necessary, to stop personal issues between the grown-ups
overshadowing what is best for the children.
While fully shared care may be an option this does not mean that it is always the best solution.
If possible, try to work out timetables and calendars
directly with your partner, bearing in mind each other’s work schedules
and the children’s out-of-school activities.
Gather together the documents your lawyer will need to see
before he can consider your situation, like:
- The children’s birth certificates
- Your marriage certificate, if any
- Evidence of the family income, e.g. bank statements, salary slips
- Any information about the children’s particular needs,
school or medical reports, assessments and so on