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Divorce With Children & Child Custody

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Child Custody with Cath Karlin

Navigating the complexities of divorce is never easy, especially when children are involved. Every family has their own unique challenges, each needing a unique approach to reach a solution that’s best for the children involved. 

From the emotional upheaval to the practical considerations of co-parenting and financial support, I can support you through the spectrum of challenges families encounter during a separation. 

With over 25 years of experience in Scottish family law, I’ve seen it all. I have helped countless families navigate the intricate legal landscape of divorce, child custody, and child support.


How I Can Help You With Child Custody

Navigating child custody battles is undoubtedly one of the most challenging aspects of divorce or separation. I firmly believe that where children are involved, courts are absolutely the place of last resort. That’s why, in addition to providing legal services, I also offer Mediation and Collaborative services. 

These options create a supportive space where you and your ex-partner can discuss your children’s needs and work together to find solutions that benefit everyone involved.

How Can You Navigate Parental Separation

Throughout my years of experience, I’ve learned a few important things:

  • Firstly, it’s crucial not to put your children in the middle of your disagreements. They shouldn’t have to choose sides. 
  • Secondly, try your best to present a united front to your children and avoid speaking negatively about the other parent in front of them. Remember that the other parent is still a significant part of your child’s life, and negative comments can really hurt.
  • Finally, when you do talk to your children about the separation, try to do it together if possible. Prepare a plan and explanation that you both agree on and focus on reassuring your children that both of you love them and that they aren’t to blame.

By putting your children’s well-being first and maintaining open communication, you can navigate this challenging time more smoothly. With my support, you can move forward confidently, knowing that your children’s best interests are always the top priority.

Get in Touch to Find out More

My Process

  • Initial Consultation
I begin by meeting with my client for an initial consultation. During this meeting, I gather information about their situation, including details about the family dynamics, the children’s needs, and any existing custody arrangements.
  • Assessment of Legal Rights
I assess my client’s legal rights and obligations regarding child custody based on relevant laws and the specifics of the case. This involves reviewing any existing custody agreements, court orders, or other relevant legal documents.
  • Exploration of Options
I discuss various options for resolving the custody dispute with my client, such as negotiation, mediation, collaborative law, or litigation. We evaluate each option based on their specific circumstances and goals.
  • Strategy Development
Once we’ve determined the preferred approach, I develop a strategic plan for achieving my client’s objectives. This may involve gathering evidence, preparing legal arguments, and outlining a negotiation or litigation strategy.
  • Negotiation or Mediation
If possible, I seek to resolve the custody dispute through negotiation or mediation. I engage in discussions with the other party or their legal representative to reach a mutually acceptable custody arrangement.
  • Drafting Agreements
If an agreement is reached through negotiation or mediation, I assist in drafting a formal custody agreement. This document outlines the terms and conditions of the arrangement, including custody schedules, visitation rights, and decision-making authority.
  • Court Proceedings (if necessary)
If negotiations fail to produce a satisfactory outcome, I will suggest initiating court proceedings. This involves filing a petition or motion with the court and presenting my client’s case before a judge at hearings or trials.
  • Court Orders
If the case goes to court, the judge will issue a custody order based on the evidence presented and the best interests of the child. I ensure that my client’s rights are protected throughout the court process and advocate for a favourable outcome on their behalf.
  • Enforcement and Compliance
After a custody order is issued, I assist my client in ensuring compliance with its terms. I take legal action to enforce the order if necessary, such as filing contempt motions or seeking modifications to the arrangement as circumstances change.
  • Post-Resolution Support
Even after the custody arrangement is finalised, I continue to provide support to my client as needed. This may involve addressing any issues that arise post-resolution, such as modification requests, enforcement actions, or disputes between the parties.
Get in Touch to Find out More

Child Custody F&Qs

What is A Residence Order

A residence order states where a child should reside. The court can make such an order in favour of more than one person, stipulating how long the child should spend with each parent. In a shared care arrangement, for example, both parents could have a residence order.

What is a contact order?

A contact order regulates telephone calls, visits, overnight stays, weekends or holidays with a parent or any other person with an interest.

Does my child have a say?

The court is required to consider the views of a child, although very young children will be deemed too immature to form a view. Twelve is deemed to be the age at which children are mature enough to express a well-formed view. However, courts can ask children who are a bit younger.

Who can apply for a child order?

Those able to apply are the child’s parents or step-parents, those with parental rights and responsibilities and any family member who can establish that they have an interest, such as the child’s grandparents.

Do I need permission to relocate with my child under Scottish law?

Yes, if you have a residence order or another court order in place governing the child’s residence or contact arrangements, you generally need permission from the other parent or consent from the court to relocate with your child. This applies whether the relocation is within Scotland or involves moving out of the country.

How is child support calculated?

The court takes into account factors such as the income of both parents, the number of children involved, and any special needs or expenses of the child. 

You can check the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) website to find a child support calculator which is based on gross income.

Get in Touch Today

Cath Karlin is a vastly experienced lawyer and uses this alongside her expertise to assist you however possible. She is very familiar with the process of divorce and can expertly guide you whatever your situation. Her divorce and separation expertise spans a number of issues including child custody, division of assetsprenuptial cohabitation agreements, surrogacy cases and expatriate divorce. If you’re curious about costs, we have a page breaking down the initial costs of a consultation. Read her reviews to see how great she is at what she does and get in contact today. I really pride myself on my local reputation, with 60 5-Star Google reviews.

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How can I help?
If you’d like to arrange a consultation or find out if I can help you please do get in touch.


Main office call: 0131 202 9450

Direct dial call: 0131 202 9451



Cath Karlin Family Law
51 William Street


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