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Do I have to go to court to get to see my kids?

At MacBeath Family Law we are often asked if contact issues always turn nasty and difficult and the answer is no, there are ways to manage contact without it turning into an battle.



When communicating with your ex-partner try to focus solely on issues surrounding the children.  Try not to rehash the breakdown of the relationship as this will not assist anyone and will prevent constructive communication taking place.  Restrict communication between you to matters directly relating to the children such as contact, handover, school information, medical information etc.



Sometimes when people need to communicate with their ex-partner about their children, they require a bit of assistance.  Mediation is a good way for both parents to explain their position on any matters they cannot resolve themselves to a third party.  Mediators are independent.  The mediator does not take sides or make judgements. The mediator will ensure that both parties get a chance to state their case, hear the other side, work through the issues that are important to them and make an agreement.


Negotiation through a solicitor

Involving solicitors does not have to inflame matters and make communication more difficult.  In fact, communication through solicitors can often help focus the points of difficulty between you.  You can discuss your situation with your solicitor and they can prepare a letter to go to your ex-partner’s solicitor (or directly to them if appropriate) which will set out your position in a clear, concise and calm manner.  This can assist in resolving the outstanding issues between you without further escalation.


Round table discussions

In some circumstances it can be cheaper and quicker to have a round table discussion to resolve the outstanding difficulties between you and your ex-partner.  A round table discussion involves you, your ex-partner and both of your solicitors.  The aim is to settle the issues which are preventing contact working well and enable both of you to move on without the constant need for discussion on the same points over and over again.



Agreements are usually drawn up for your and your ex-partner to sign once one of the above options has been successful.  A signed agreement can be useful in setting out the agreed position and can be referred to in years to come if further difficulties arise.



As a last resort you can take a case to court.  This will definitely not enhance your relationship with your ex-partner and following a court action you may struggle to communicate in the most basic terms about your children.  The impact of a court case on a family cannot be underestimated and while it is sometimes necessary for matters to be resolved, it should only be considered after specialist legal advice has been obtained.


As always, the purpose of this blog is to provide an overview of the options available in Scotland and should not be relied upon as legal advice.  You should always obtain specialist legal advice about your own circumstances.  Please call 0131 5818 652 or email to arrange an appointment.  

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