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Charity Proposes Scotland’s Own Child Support System

Child maintenance should become a matter for the Scottish Parliament so that parental co-operation and meaningful contact for non-resident parents can be promoted, according to a fathers’ rights charity.

Families Need Fathers Scotland (FNF), a charity that supports separated parents and families with child contact and promotes shared parenting, argues that the current system of child support administered by the Child Maintenance Service across the UK fails to reflect the focus on inclusive family life under Scots law: ‘Rather than promoting co-operation and facilitating both parents in fulfilling their parental rights and responsibilities, the divorce of child support from family policy has for more than two decades polarised the perception of parents of their interests and duties and wasted emotional effort that should have been directed towards supporting and nurturing the development of their children’.

The result is that the system encourages a ‘cash for contact’ standoff, which could be combated if child support legislation and administration were transferred to Scotland. If these powers were devolved, the charity argues, it would be possible for Scotland to create ‘a more ambitious, more coherent and less fragmented family policy’.

The suggestion has been made in a submission to the Smith Commission, which has been charged with producing a set of proposals on the powers that should be transferred from the UK to Scotland by the end of November.

While the charity recognises that the main disadvantage of having a separate agency responsible for child support in Scotland is cost, it considers that devolution would help to resolve anomalies in the different legal systems of Scotland and England & Wales by providing clarity, and therefore empowerment.

Child Support and Parental Rights and Responsibilities

Our family law experts can help with any matter relating to children following the breakdown of a relationship. Whether you are looking for help with contact or support, we can help you explore all the options, either through mediation, negotiation, collaboration or, if necessary, through the courts. For sensitive, professional and understanding legal advice and assistance on any child matter, please contact our family lawyers for a quick response by making an online enquiry.


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