Child Related Disputes

Key contacts

Morton Fraser Partner Fiona Sasan
Fiona Sasan
Fiona is an extremely experienced family lawyer and one of our Glasgow based partners. Fiona is also an accredited family law specialist, a ...
0141 274 1107

During the Divorce and Separation process, we know that your top concern is often what will happen to your children. We understand how important they are to you, but also how difficult it can be to find a way forward as separated parents. Parents often have questions about where children will live after divorce, child custody, child maintenance, and who will pay for school fees after divorce. That's where our experience comes in - our accredited and top-ranked lawyers have considerable expertise in guiding parents through this difficult time, with the best interests of their children firmly in view. 


How we can help you

Often, we will be able to resolve disputes about children through negotiation and some straight-talking. We can offer mediation for disputes about children, which means acting as a neutral and independent mediator where parents have their own lawyers. Where appropriate, we will also suggest mediation to our own clients. Although court is often the last resort for cases involving children, we have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through this if needed, including an in-house solicitor-advocate.   

We have expertise in how to resolve disputes about living arrangements for children; how to resolve financial maintenance of children, as well as school fee disputes; and international child disputes such as child relocation and child abduction.

Can I get custody of my child?

In a word, no. But that is because 'custody' is an old legal term that is no longer used in Scotland or England. Lots of people still refer to custody and ask about it though. In Scotland, most parents will automatically have 'parental rights and responsibilities'. Sometimes, one parent will have 'residence' of children while the other parent has 'contact'. Sometimes, parents will have shared residence, whether in an equal or unequal split. 

What happens if we can't reach agreement about our children?

Even if a dispute about children seems intractable, it may be that a good family lawyer can help you to find a way through, whether by negotiation, mediation or arbitration. If that's not possible, then there is the option of court. A court will decide matters based on the best interests of the child (which might be the same or different to what either parent wants). A court will only make an order if necessary, and will take account of the child's views, if mature enough to express these.

How much will it cost to go to court about my child?

It can be particularly difficult to predict costs in a court case involving a child. Factors will include how your spouse chooses to deal with things; your own aims and goals; as well as what intervention the court thinks is required (for example a report into the circumstances, from either an independent reporter or a child psychologist). We aim to be as clear as possible about fees - see here for more detail of our unique approach to this.