Section 24 — Cohabitation: domestic interdicts

Family Law (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 5:15 pm on 15th December 2005.

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Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour 5:15 pm, 15th December 2005

Group 18 is on the definition of "child" in relation to family interdicts. Amendment 50, in the name of the minister, is grouped with amendments 51 and 4.

Photo of Hugh Henry Hugh Henry Labour

Amendments 50 and 51 are technical. We are amending the definition of "child" in section 18(3) of the Matrimonial Homes (Family Protection) (Scotland) Act 1981 to follow more closely the definition that is used elsewhere in the act. As section 24 of the Family Law (Scotland) Bill is adding new provisions to the 1981 act, for the sake of consistency it makes sense that "child" has the same definition throughout.

I turn now to amendment 4. Section 8 of the bill amends the Matrimonial Homes (Family Protection) (Scotland) Act 1981 by extending matrimonial interdicts to include not only a matrimonial home but any other home occupied by the applicant, the applicant's place of work and the school attended by any child in the applicant's permanent or temporary care. Section 24 of the bill makes similar provision for domestic interdicts for cohabiting couples in relation to their family home.

Those changes are replicated for civil partners in schedule 1. However, the wording that is used at section 8(2)(b)(iv) to describe schools attended by children in the care of an applicant spouse has not been mirrored exactly in the drafting of the equivalent provision for applicant civil partners, which is paragraph 6(b)(iv) of schedule 1, which will become part of section 113(2)(b) of the Civil Partnership Act 2004.

I understand that amendment 4 aims to bring the drafting of the relevant interdict provisions in schedule 1 into line with that for matrimonial interdicts in section 8 and domestic interdicts in section 24. I am therefore happy to support amendment 4, which is very useful.

I move amendment 50.

Photo of Marlyn Glen Marlyn Glen Labour

Amendment 4 extends protection to cover all children, whatever the gender mix of the adults who are bringing them up. As such, it is a very important amendment.

Photo of Stewart Stevenson Stewart Stevenson Scottish National Party

I have a little factual question about the use of the word "attended" in paragraph 6(b)(iv). I am not clear in law what tense is applied there. If it were the past tense, it would cover a very wide range of schools. Possibly a wide range of children in care might apply. It is just a clarification.

Photo of Hugh Henry Hugh Henry Labour

I am sorry, but I am not able to give that specific clarification. Do we want to delay proceedings till I find it? I am actively searching for the provision among my papers—I am not sure of the tense. As well as being a mathematical expert, Stewart Stevenson is clearly a language expert.

Amendment 50 agreed to.

[Amendment 51 moved—[Hugh Henry]—and agreed to.]