Monday, January 7, 2008

Dashed Hopes

Further to my 2008 Wish List of yesterday hoping for the better enforcement of court orders and contact orders that bind both parties the Herald reports today that the Scottish Government (as the Executive is now called) has dropped plans to pilot family court facilitators and commissioned research into the problem of non-compliance with contact orders.

Obviously this is a huge blow to parents who are denied a relationship with their children by their ex-partners, but perhaps less obvious it's also a blow to those caring for children who are hauled through the courts to have contact imposed only for the contact to be taken up erratically or not at all. As part of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 debate, Hugh Henry, the then deputy justice minister, promised the pilot scheme and commissioned research would attempt to address both issues.

At present the only means Scottish Courts have available to enforce contact are thought somewhat draconian, either a fine or imprisonment, but there are a range of further possible measures which could be deployed such as community orders, parenting classes and/or financial recompense. These same measures might also be used to protect children from the emotional harm they can suffer through the unreliable and inconsistent uptake of contact.


Anonymous,  08 January, 2008 15:30  

You should have applied for the job!


Fiona 09 January, 2008 16:33  

Thanks, Jim. I think it's a tad late to change my career for the third time. -;)

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