Contact Disputes – A Fresh Approach
Gone are the dark days of Porchetta v Porchetta when a person seeking contact required to prove that an order would benefit the child. It is now well recognised that it will normally be assumed that a child will benefit from contact with a natural parent subject to the over-riding test of “what is in the best interests of the child”. Unfortunately, in many cases parents simply cannot agree and Sheriffs are asked to intervene. Often these cases are bitterly contested and inevitably children are caught in the crossfire.
The approach to contact disputes can vary from Sheriff to Sheriff, but in a recent case by Sheriff Anwar in Glasgow Sheriff Court she elected to write to the children to explain her decision to allow their father to have indirect contact by sending letters. Her brief note and letter are worth reading and serve as a reminder to all involved in family cases, both parties and agents, that we should always focus on what is in the child’s best interest.
If you need advice on contact or any other child welfare issue contact Ken Caldwell.