Learning From Abroad

While we await the long-delayed implementation of the Children (Scotland) Act 2020, Shared Parenting Scotland has published a guide listing a range of changes that could help resolve disputes about child contact or make the family court process less damaging.

Learning From Abroad” describes nine developments in resolving family disputes which have proved successful in other countries and which could be tried in Scotland.

Some are starting to be introduced in this country, such as the New Ways For Families Course from the USA. The English ReFLEx training for family lawyers is also now available, and we are holding briefing sessions about this online course in Glasgow on May 9th and Edinburgh on May 10th.

The other developments listed in the guide are from the Netherlands, Israel, Alaska, Singapore and England. They range from an online dispute resolution platform which supports separating parents to create a parenting agreement (Uitelkaar) to Therapeutic Jurisprudence in Singapore, which adopts a therapeutic, problem-solving approach in the family courts.

Closer to home are the Pathfinder Projects in the English and Welsh family courts, trying to create a kinder and less brutal process while helping many parents to avoid court hearings.

The guide was researched and written by Natalia Rucka during her summer 2023 internship with Shared Parenting Scotland supported by Aberdeen University. We are now working to explore how these ideas could be used to improve the resolution of family conflict.