The family law team at Harper Macleod LLP have recently responded to a consultation relating to a proposal to increase the use and consistency of mediation services in Scotland. The proposal is made by the MSP for Central Scotland, Margaret Mitchell, and is the first step in the process for introducing a Member's Bill in the Scottish Parliament. The hope is that the Member's Bill will increase awareness of mediation and what it can do to assist those involved in disputes.
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Latest articles from Karen Gibbons
Relationship breakdowns are stressful – that is not news. This can be for a variety of reasons and every situation is different. Where relationships end, there will commonly be disputes about the division of the finances and about child care arrangements. In Scotland, it is typical for separating couples to try and negotiate an agreement (known as a 'Separation Agreement' or 'Minute of Agreement') which regulates those issues, through the instruction of solicitors.
As we gear up to the summer period, solicitors who practise family law are often approached by separated parents regarding disputes about holiday contact. These disputes can be difficult for both parents and children.
There remain common misconceptions in Scotland about the position of cohabitants, particularly around the assumption that a period of cohabitation can create 'common law' husbands and wives and an automatic entitlement to share in wealth built up during a relationship.
The courts are full of contentious family law cases that seem to take forever to resolve. These cases often involve the welfare of children but also relate to how couples divide their finances when they separate. While everyone accepts that there are a minority of difficult cases that do require a third party decision, for the rest of the cases there must be an alternative way of processing these cases and that better way is mediation.