Child Law Solicitors

The priority for any parent when their relationship breaks down is to make sure that the arrangements for their children are the best that can be made in the new circumstances. These are often very difficult decisions for the families involved and we’re here to help you make the right choices for you and your children.

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The priority for any parent when their relationship breaks down is to make sure that the arrangements for their children are well suited to the new circumstances. At Anderson Strathern, our child law solicitors are on hand to make sure every step is taken to look after your children’s future and general welfare.

Legal matters involving children can be understandably contentious. There will be very difficult decisions for the families involved, with emotions running high, as everyone seeks to find a solution that is best for the children while also wanting to protect their interests as a parent.

Our child law solicitors can help you with child law advice and guide you on the steps to take to make sure the best interests of the children are taken care of during and after a separation.

Adjusting to separation can take time for the parents as well as the children, and our family law specialists have expertise in helping to tackle difficult subjects such as where the children will live, when they’ll see the other parent, and in helping you make sure that the agreed arrangements are focused on the child and that they work for each individual family.

Resolving the situation in a calm and effective way, with a focus on the children, is something that our team excel in.

Our team can also provide bespoke advice in connection with Child Support. We also represent local authorities in cases concerning the adoption of children and we also advise families who are interested in adopting.

Speak to our children law solicitors in Scotland

To discuss children law matters with a member of our expert team, please get in touch today.

Contact us on 0131 270 7700, visit our offices in  EdinburghGlasgowEast Lothian or Shetland, or fill in our enquiry form at the bottom of the page to request a call back.

Our expertise with children law matters

Child residence and contact

In the aftermath of a  separation, planning for where your children will live and who they will spend time with can be one of the most contentious issues that need to be resolved. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the separation and what the relationship is like between you and your former partner, coming to an agreement that is in the children’s best interests may prove difficult. However, with the support and guidance of our expert child law solicitors, it is far from impossible.

In many cases, child residence, contact arrangements and parenting plans can be made voluntarily between both parents. This can help to reduce the stress and confusion your children may already be facing, as contentious court proceedings won’t be required.

We can work alongside you to explore various options for reaching these voluntary agreements, including alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation and constructive negotiation. After guiding you through this process, we can support you in preparing the written agreement.

If an agreement isn’t possible in your situation, our child law experts can look at other alternatives, such as applying for Contact or Residence orders or Specific Issue orders.

Contact & Residence

Court Orders can be obtained to certain aspects of your children’s lives. This might include detailing how much time your children will spend with each parent, where they will live and general decisions about their life and well-being. It is important to note that orders are only issued by court if they are necessary, so if matters are agreed, court orders are not necessary.

If a specific agreement needs to be made, this can still be done on a voluntary basis. However, if reaching an agreement is not possible, we can advise you on the process of making an application for court orders that detail various issues, including Specific Issue Orders.

Parental responsibility

If you have parental responsibility for a child, this establishes your legal authority to look after and raise your children. A biological mother will have parental responsibility for a child from birth, while a father will have parental responsibility if he is married to the mother when the child is conceived or married to her at any point after, or if he’s named on the child’s birth certificate.

Our child law solicitors can assist you in establishing parental responsibility for a child. We can also assist you with exploring your parental rights, such as applying for a Parental Rights and  Responsibilities Order.

Child maintenance

Child maintenance is used to help pay for a child’s everyday living costs and is paid by the non-resident parent (the parent that does not live with the child). The level of child maintenance which is paid is decided based on the income of the paying parent, how often the child stays with them and whether they are financially responsible for any other children.

Our child law solicitors can support you in making a private arrangement for child maintenance, including a minute of agreement (a contract) as well as the process of dealing with the Child Maintenance Service to sort out any disagreements in relation to payments.


Adopting a child is an incredibly rewarding endeavour, but it also comes with plenty of legal challenges that need to be addressed in a timely manner. If you are planning to adopt a child in Scotland, our child law experts are here to support you and your family with an application, guiding you through the process and dealing with the family court process.

We also have experience in representing local authorities in cases concerning adoption.

Why choose our children law solicitors?

Our Family Law team have substantial expertise on a wide range of family law matters, including those associated with child law issues.

We have a team with a range of professional memberships, demonstrating our expertise and commitment with members of our team being accredited by Law Society of Scotland as specialists in Family Law, being recognised by Chambers & Partners as leading individuals, members of Family Law Association

We also have a range of other Family Law specialisms, including cohabitation agreements, divorce, prenuptial agreements and separation advice.

Frequently asked questions about child law matters

What happens if I cannot come to an agreement with my former partner about the children?

Following separation you have the opportunity to make voluntary arrangements for your children with your former partner. An application to court can be made by either parent where there is an issue relating to your children’s protection or you are unable to come to an agreement on an important aspect of your children’s life including contact arrangements. When making a decision, the court will always decide this based on what is in the children’s best interests.

What type of court orders are there for children?

The most common court orders that are applied in child law cases are:

  • Contact and Residence orders– these determine where your child will live, who they will spend time with and what type of contact is permitted.
  • Specific Issue Orders – Specific Issue Orders relate to specific requirements about the child’s upbringing, such as where they will go to school and whether they will receive a religious upbringing. Sometimes whether a particular trip abroad should take place
  • Interdict – these are put in place to prevent another parent from taking certain actions in relation to the child.

What happens if my former partner refuses to pay child maintenance?

If your former partner refuses to pay the agreed level of child maintenance, the Child Maintenance Service has a range of powers which they can use to secure payment. This may include:

  • Ordering an employer to deduct payment from the parent’s wages or pension.
  • Taking the parent to court via a Liability Order then seeking removal of driving licence for up to 2 years or imprisonment for up to 6 weeks if the default is not remedied.

Speak to our children law solicitors in Scotland

To discuss children law matters with a member of our expert team, please get in touch today.

Contact us on 0131 270 7700, visit our offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, East Lothian or Shetland, or fill in our enquiry form at the bottom of the page to request a call back.

"Experienced family practitioners who can provide support and representation in contact and residence cases."

Client testimonial