Contact & Residence

The breakdown of a relationship is difficult, especially when there are children involved. Child contact or residence is the main priority for parents. Usually, separating, or divorcing parents are able to come to an agreement about how much contact they should each have with their children. However, there can be situations where parents cannot come to a mutual agreement without the assistance of a mediator or the courts.

Our family law solicitors have years of experience in dealing with child related issues. We are able to provide assistance for parental rights, residence, and contact orders, finding workable solutions in your child’s best interests.

Children’s Referrals & Hearings

Another important legal issue our experienced family law solicitors deal with is the children’s referrals and hearings procedure.

A children’s referral is a request from a professional person or member of the public that a local children’s social work service or the police intervene to ensure the protection of a child. We understand that if you are concerned about a child that you are close to, or if your child is the subject of a referral, this can be a very difficult time. Our solicitors will always keep you informed about the progress of your case, and provide you with as much information as practically possible.


There are many reasons why individuals may wish to adopt a child. Whatever your reason, if you are interested in adopting a child in Scotland, providing them a stable, secure and happy home, AC White Solicitors are here to help.

The legal process of adoption is complex and lengthy, with intense background checks to ensure the adoption is in the child’s best interests. Our family law solicitors can provide you with guidance and representation to minimise the stress involved with the adoption processes.

Child Law – FAQs

What is a child residence order?

Residence is the legal term used to describe where a child lives for most of the time. Following a separation, a child can have their place of residence with either parent or the parents can share residence of the child. If the parents cannot agree on where the child should reside then an application can be made to the court for a residence order. The court will consider what is in the best interests of the child and the child’s welfare will always be the paramount consideration.

People other than parents can apply for residence of a child. This may apply where a child is residing with another relative such as a grandparent. A residence order can secure the child’s place of residence and may also allow any supervision order that has been made by the Children’s hearing in relation to a child to be terminated.

What is child contact?

Contact is the legal term used to describe the periods of time that a child will spend with a non-resident parent or another relative such as a grandparent. Contact can take place on specified days and times or can be more flexible.

If parents cannot agree on what contact should be in place for the child, an application can be made to the court for a contact order. The court will consider what is in the best interests of the child. If the child is able to express a view then that view will usually be taken into account by the court.

A person who holds parental rights and responsibilities in relation to a child has a legal right to contact with that child, if the child does not live with them on a day to day basis. However, this right must always be balanced with consideration of the child’s best interests.

Child Law - Guide to Fees

Given the vastly different circumstances in each type of case as well as in each individual case it is not possible to provide accurate costings. When instructed we will issue our Terms and Conditions of Engagement which will include a time and line, hourly and unit rate chargeable for this type of work. Our hourly rate is £225.00 plus VAT (£270.00 inclusive of VAT). Outlays payable will depend on the work carried out.

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