After section 17

Part of Family Law (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:30 pm on 15th December 2005.

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Photo of Kenny MacAskill Kenny MacAskill Scottish National Party 3:30 pm, 15th December 2005

I am opposed to both amendment 42 and amendment 15. I accept the minister's point that these matters are best left to the court, but it is important that we bring home to people that court orders are not granted on a whim. I do not think that doing so is intimidatory. Of course there is a problem with instances of mothers not granting contact to an absent father, but there is a bigger problem with fathers who apply for contact and then do not take it up; that is why we should ram home the importance of orders. That is a far more complex situation and it arises far more often. We should tell people that if they apply for contact and the court grants it, it is important to take it up. We should say to them, "You should not be watching the football live on television; you should be undertaking the obligation to your child. You should not be seeking to go away with your new girlfriend; you should be undertaking the obligation that you applied for."