Child Contact & Custody

If a child’s parents are married, then both will be legally responsible for the child. However, if they are not married, then only the mother will have parental rights and responsibilities, unless the father is named on the birth certificate.

If the child was born before May 2006, then an unmarried father might not have automatic parental rights or responsibilities. A father in this position who wishes to acquire parental rights must do so with the mother’s agreement or by obtaining a court order. If the court is persuaded that it is in the child’s best interest that the father is given parental rights and responsibilities, then the court will grant them to him.

If there is a dispute about where the child should live, then it is possible to apply to the the court for a residence order. The court can also make an order for the child to have contact with the non-resident parent if the parents cannot agree on suitable contact arrangements. If the child is old enough to express an opinion, then their views will be taken into account. If you are unsure of your rights, or you would like to obtain custody of, or access to, a child, then get in touch with us today.

Child Lawyers Paisley & Glasgow

The law relating to the care of children is one for which many have a very emotional attachment. Most parents consider the arrangements for child care and their child’s upbringing as being of paramount importance, and access and custody of children is a very serious issue for many of our clients.

If a child’s parents are married, then both will be legally responsible for the child. However, if they are not married, then only the mother will have parental rights and responsibilities unless the father is named on the birth certificate.

If the child was born before May 2006, then an unmarried father might not have automatic parental rights or responsibilities. A father in this position who wishes to acquire parental rights must do so with the mother’s agreement or by obtaining a court order. If the court is persuaded that it is in the child’s best interest that the father is given parental rights and responsibilities, then the court will grant them to him.

If there is a dispute about where the child should live, then it is possible to apply to the court for a residence order. The court can also make an order for the child to have contact with the non-resident parent if the parents cannot agree on suitable contact arrangements. If the child is old enough to express an opinion, then their views will be taken into account. If you are unsure of your rights, or you would like to obtain custody of, or access to, a child, then get in touch with us today.

Our helpful and empathetic team understand how important your children are to you, and will strive to ensure the best interests of your child are represented.

Child Custody, Scotland

In separation, divorce or other circumstances many parents and guardians are concerned about child custody. Under the law, the welfare of children is the most important consideration in determining custody arrangements. Where your child is old enough and is able to express a view as to the custody arrangements they would prefer, these preferences will be taken into account.

Those aged over 12 years old are legally entitled to have their opinion taken into account when decisions are being made about their care arrangements.

In most cases, parents are able to resolve custody issues through direct discussion and very often parents agree to share custody of their children, making arrangements that suit both parents and work well for the child. You may wish to formalise such agreement and we can help you do this by formally recording the terms in a Minute of Agreement.

However, where it is not possible for parents to come to an agreement among themselves about child custody, we can help.  Our solicitors are experts in making applications to the court for residence and contact orders and can provide specialist representation in court if you require it.  Contact our expert family law team today to find out how we can help you. 

Child Referrals

Another important legal issue our empathetic team has excellent experience in dealing with is the child referrals and hearings procedure.

A child referral is a request from a professional person or a member of the public that a local children’s social work service or the police intervene to ensure the protection of a child. We understand that if you are concerned about a child you are close to, or if your child is the subject of a referral that this can be a very difficult time. Our team will always keep you informed of any progress in your case and provide you with as much information as we can about how such cases progress.

When a referral is made, the police or local children’s social work services will gather as much information as possible in order to assess whether the child is at risk of harm. If new information comes to light, the child may be reassessed at a later date.

If it is determined that the child is in immediate danger, an order can be made to protect the child through the local Sherriff Court. Depending on the situation the court may take any of the following actions:

  • A Child protection order
  • An exclusion order
  • A child assessment order
  • Removal by the police

These are emergency measures which allow the authorities time to determine the best way to protect the child in the long term. Making such a determination may require both a case conference and also care proceedings.

Where the child has not been harmed and it not as risk of significant harm, it may be considered that there is no need to take further child protection measures. The child and their family may be offered additional support including a parenting program in order to assist them in returning to normal family life.

However, if the initial assessment unveils that the child whilst not in an emergency situation, may be at risk of significant harm, a joint investigation will be made to determine if any child protection action is required and also whether a case conference should be held.

A case conference will be held where it is determined that the child is at risk of significant harm. All relevant professionals can participate in the case conference and share information in order to identify risks to the child and outline what needs to be done to protect the child.

At the case conference, it may be determined that the best way to protect the child is through legal intervention. Legal interventions can help ensure the child gets the help they need or they may be taken into care. When it is determined that legal intervention is to occur, the case will be referred to the children’s reporter who will then make the decision as to whether there need to be a children’s hearing for care proceedings.

If you are concerned about your child, or if your child has been the subject of a referral we understand how concerned you will be. Our specialist child law solicitors will guide you through this difficult time, to ensure the best outcome for you and you family. Contact us today to find out how we can help.

Child Custody & Family Lawyers Paisley & Glasgow, Scotland

If you need help with a family law matter, call us on 0141 887 5181 for our Paisley branch or 0141 551 8185 for our Glasgow branch or click here to get in touch. Our family lawyers are based in Paisley and Glasgow and have helped thousands of clients just like you.

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Paisley: 0141 887 5181

Glasgow: 0141 551 8185