We put the best interests of the

at the heart of everything we do

At Shared Parenting Scotland we do this by:

CAMPAIGNING for changes in law and legal procedures to support equal parenting

HELPING and supporting parents to resolve disputes and put their children first

INFORMING and educating professionals and politicians about latest research

LISTENING and providing support and assistance on our helpline

DEVELOPING a range of training programmes to assist separated parents

Click the button below to view all our FAQs

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Training Course on Co-Parenting Skills
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What do children need when parents separate?

Our new online training course including one-to-one coaching sessions is now available across the UK

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Love, Loss & Living: Free Training Programme
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Love, Loss and Living is a free, interactive, 6-week online course with additional in-person training sessions to help you understand and manage the grief of being separated from your child(ren).

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Support our work
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You can support the work we do in supporting separated parents by clicking the button to donate below. Anything you can spare will be greatly appreciated and a big help.

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Armed Forces & Veterans
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Do you need support on shared parenting issues?

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Group Meetings & Events
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We have numerous regular group support meetings and events across Scotland, as well as online.

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“Shared Parenting is a progressive, forward-thinking cultural norm that promotes gender and racial equality for all families, regardless of their configuration”
Emma Johnstone in her book “The 50:50 Solution”

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“You gave me a great deal of comfort by first of all listening and also by advising on the legality of the court order and information I have received. I hope you will continue to give incredible support to those who need to access you.”
Separated Mother, Scottish Borders
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“I’ve been worried, literally sick lately, not sleeping etc, and your email has been the first glimpse of positivity I’ve seen, thank you.”
Separated Father, West of Scotland
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“Thank you for showing my son a glimpse of light in the darkness and for guiding him the way to go. Thank you for having his back - even when he was ungrateful to you.”
Grandfather, Aberdeenshire
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“This is a really tough time estranged parents go through. I think that your involvement in this or more, your choice to get involved in this is the most caring thing that a person can do. Thank you.”
Separated Father, Glasgow
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FAQs

Where do I start?

Start with the FAQs, which have been written to answer questions that are asked on our helpline, at group meetings or in WhatsApp groups.  When necessary we consult experienced family lawyers to help ensure the accuracy and we try to avoid using legal jargon.  Links to more detailed information are included where possible.  If you can’t find the answer to your question try searching the whole site using the magnifying glass at top right of the screen.  If nothing is found email or phone us with your question.

How can contact time be arranged?

There are many ways of dividing the time that children spend with each parent. Factors such are how far apart the parents live, work patterns, the age of the children and whether child maintenance can be agreed can affect what works for each family. Here are some of the patterns that are commonly in use:
  • Week about – children spend one full week in one household and the next week in the other household.
  • Split weeks – the children spend four days with one parent then three with the other, reversing this pattern the next week.
  • Days about – may be best for young children so that they do not spend too much time away from either parent.
  • When the children are at school age it is also necessary to work out a pattern for the holidays that allows for longer periods with each parent.

Should I Represent Myself in Court?

Yes. Schools get this wrong sometimes. Both parents retain full parental responsibilities and rights.  An order specifying residence and contact does not  eliminate either from carrying out responsibilities or exercising rights.  Detailed arrangements for residence and contact are just that and do not permit a residential parent to control how the other parent fulfils their responsibilities. Contact is not a privilege, it is a duty to be exercised in the interests of the child.
We always advise people that it is best to have a lawyer if you are taking court, but we know that some people either can’t afford representation or have had such poor legal support in the past that they end up conducting their own case in court.  Our Guide will help you LINK and we may also be able to  link you with a lay supporter LINK.  It is also worth trying to find a lawyer who can comment on what you are putting on the court papers before submitting them.  There will be a cost for this service, but it costs far less than full representation and can help you avoid making errors in the way you present your case.

Can a 12 year old decide what happens about contact?

Yes. Schools get this wrong sometimes. Both parents retain full parental responsibilities and rights.  An order specifying residence and contact does not  eliminate either from carrying out responsibilities or exercising rights.  Detailed arrangements for residence and contact are just that and do not permit a residential parent to control how the other parent fulfils their responsibilities. Contact is not a privilege, it is a duty to be exercised in the interests of the child.

The 1995 Children (Scotland) Act says that the court should allow a child to express views and have regard to them as far as possible.  It also says that the court should take account if the child’s age and maturity and that “a child twelve years of age or more shall be presumed to be of sufficient age and maturity to form a view” (section 6).

The 2020 Children (Scotland) Act removes this mention of age 12.  Although that legislation hadn’t been enacted at February 2024 the court will now consider the views of much younger children.  Whatever the age, the views of a child are not the deciding factor, although the older the child the more impact their views will have on the final decision.

My name isn't on the birth certificate of my child, how can I deal with this?

If possible, try to persuade the mother to add your name. There are forms for you and her to fill in and this adds your name to the birth certificate. See here for more details.

If she doesn’t agree to do this, you can raise it in court at the same time as obtaining a contact order. If she disputes that you are the father you can ask for a DNA test – do this via the Child Maintenance Service if you are being asked to pay maintenance.

Latest News

View our upcoming group meetings and events below.

 
   

       
   

May 2024

Aberdeen Group Meeting

Monthly group meeting

Aberdeen meetings are held on the fourth Wednesday of every month in the Garden Room at Queen’s Cross Church. You don’t need to book in advance, but if we have your email on record you will get a reminder a few days beforehand, listing which lawyer is…

Aberdeen
6:00-8:00pm

Dundee Group Meeting

Monthly group meeting

Dundee meetings are normally held on the fourth Tuesday of every month. You don’t need to book in advance, but if we have your email on record you will get a reminder a few days beforehand, listing which lawyer is going to be at the meeting. We’ve foun…

Dundee
6:00-8:00pm

June 2024

Edinburgh Group Meeting

Monthly group meeting

Edinburgh meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every month. You don’t need to book in advance, but if we have your email on record you will get a reminder a few days beforehand, listing which lawyer is going to be at the meeting.  This email will…

Edinburgh
6:00-8:00pm

Online meeting

Online meeting

We are holding an online meeting on the second Wednesday of each month for people who prefer to stay online or who cannot attend the city-based face-to-face meetings. If you want to take part send an email to info@sharedparenting.scot and we will send…

6:00-8:00pm

Glasgow Group Meeting

Monthly group meeting

Glasgow meetings are held on the third Tuesday of every month. If we have your email on record you will get a reminder a few days beforehand, listing which lawyer is going to be at the meeting.  Coronavirus precautions are taken – please do not come if…

Glasgow
6:00-8:00pm
 

Shared Parenting Scotland is very grateful for the support we are currently receiving from the following funders. Click here for a full list of our funders

Scottish Government Justice Directorate
Supporting helpline running costs and to support the national roll-out of the New Ways For Families® training programme.

Children, Young People & Families Early Intervention Fund
Supporting parents to deal with family breakdown and put the welfare of their children at the heart of the process, engaging with marginalised groups of parents and increasing the awareness and understanding of professionals and decision makers on the benefits of shared parenting in Scotland and internationally

Robertson Trust
Supporting the Partnership Development and Outreach Manager’s salary and on-costs

Veterans’ Foundation
Contributing to the salary of the Veterans/Armed Forces Manager over a two-year period.