This consultation seeks your views on potential changes to Part 1 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 (the 1995 Act) and on related matters.
Part 1 of the 1995 Act covers parental responsibilities and rights. It also covers contact and residence cases relating to children when parents are no longer together.
At the time, the 1995 Act was seen as ground-breaking and it has served Scotland well.
However, we know that many children, parents and organisations are expressing concerns about how Part 1 of the 1995 Act works in practice.
In preparing this consultation, we have taken full account of Power Up Power Down, a participation project with children and young people carried out by the Children and Young People’s Commissioner and Scottish Women’s Aid.
In this Year of Young People, the Scottish Government is seeking views on how the interests of children and their need to form and maintain relationships with key adults in their lives can be at the heart of contact and residence cases.
The consultation covers a wide range of issues that affect children including how the court considers the views of the child, support for the child, who a child should have contact with and how contact should happen, how children and victims of domestic abuse can be protected and how we can improve the process for children and young people.
This consultation, with its associated partial Impact Assessments, carefully analyses the issues.
You do not have to respond to every question in the consultation if you do not wish to do so.
I look forward to hearing your views.
Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs