FNF Scotland launches shared parenting website



Families Need Fathers Scotland has launched a new information and discussion website raising awareness about the benefits of sharing the care of children after parents separate.

The new site offers:

  • Summaries of the academic research into shared parenting
  • Legislation and case law concerning shared parenting in Scotland and around the world
  • Stories of Scottish families who already share parenting
  • Information, experience and advice for making shared parenting work
  • Considerations for when shared parenting may be more difficult

FNF Scotland said it hopes the website will support its case for prioritising shared parenting during the review of Scots family law which is expected to happen in 2018.

FNF Scotland national manager, Ian Maxwell said: “The realities of family life in Scotland have transformed in recent decades for a host of political, social, cultural and economic reasons. As more mothers are active in the workplace so parenting roles at home have evolved. Parents expect more of each other and children expect more of both.

“Yet in Scotland when a relationship breaks down old paradigms slip back into place with a presumption of one ‘main’ parent and a ‘visitor’. While lip service is paid to encouraging parents to negotiate suitable arrangements for caring for their children after separation everyone knows that if they don’t agree the failsafe position will revert to the adversarial approach by which one parent wins time with his/her children by criticising the other.”

He added: “In addition, the system of child benefit and child support creates a financial disincentive to the current ‘main’ parent to share parenting even if s/he accepts that the children would benefit from spending more time with the other.

“FNF Scotland’s starting point is to explore what arrangements can be put in place for the long term benefits of the children. Research from around the world shows that in general children benefit in most areas of their emotional and psychological wellbeing when they spend as near as possible to equal time with both their parents and when they can see both parents are given equal status and respect by professionals and politicians.”