Date lodged: 12 February 2019
To ask the Scottish Government what enforcement powers exist to ensure that family contact judgements are upheld.
Answered by: Ash Denham 28 February 2019
Currently, if someone believes an order under section 11 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 (the 1995 Act) has been breached the person can go back to court and seek a further order (such as a variation of the order or a switch in residence), and/or ask the court to hold the person breaching the contact order in contempt of court. The Scottish Government’s understanding is that the penalties for contempt of court are laid down in section 15 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981. They include a prison sentence or a fine.
We have recently consulted on the review of Part 1 of the 1995 Act. The consultation sought views on how contact orders should be enforced. We are now considering next steps. The Programme for Government for 2018-19 announced that there will be a Family Law Bill.