After section 17

Part of Family Law (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:00 pm on 15th December 2005.

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Photo of Karen Gillon Karen Gillon Labour 3:00 pm, 15th December 2005

I had some sympathy with Rosemary Byrne's amendment but, having considered it further, I think that it goes one step too far. Grandparents continue to play a valuable role in their grandchildren's lives. If grandparents are excluded, that is often because the parents have failed to work out their relationship. Loss of contact with the grandparents is a by-product of problems in the parents' relationship. If the bill helps the parents to sort out their acrimony in taking forward a divorce, it will go some way towards resolving some of the issues for grandparents.

As a child, I experienced an acrimonious divorce, but I had full contact with my grandparents on both sides and I appreciate the stability and support that they gave me in working through that difficult situation. Where such contact is appropriate and possible, it should happen. However, if the bill helps mums and dads to move forward, grandparents will benefit as well.