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Feuding parents should always place the children first

An unsuccessful appeal for a very sad situation recently marked the end of a case which started in 2010 and highlights what can happen when parties lose sight of the paramount consideration in any action concerning children – their best interests.

Both parties couldn’t agree on anything and as a result, their four children were put through a six year litigation where they had to speak to social workers, psychologists, bar reporters and Sheriffs time and time again. As their parents couldn’t compromise in any way, a huge responsibility was placed on the children’s young shoulders.

For example, the appellant in the case refused to agree to holiday contact between the mother and the children that lived with her unless he got to go on holiday with those children – he did not consider it from the children’s point of view nor what benefits they would gain from the holiday – hardly a child centred approach.

Sheriff Baird said, “The appellant’s position on this issue is a perfect illustration of his pre-occupation with his own perceived rights as opposed to the welfare of his children”.

The case has ended whereby the children who live with each party have no contact at all with the other parent. This is an extreme case but is one where if some sort of collaborative or mediated approach had been taken with, perhaps, the parties receiving input from counsellors and family consultants, the outcome could have been very different.

For further information please contact Morven Douglas.

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