Contact between your child & their other parent

Last updated: 23/02/2022

Research shows that children benefit from seeing both parents.

If your child’s other parent does not have Parental Responsibilities and Rights you do not legally have to consider them when making decisions. It may benefit you and your child however, if your ex-partner can remain involved and included in decisions about your child.

Research shows that children benefit from seeing both parents but there are few families who can manage to share the care of their children equally. Usually the children live with one parent and spend less time with the other. The parent the children live with is usually called the parent with care. The parent the children spend the least time with is usually called the parent with contact.

When parents are able to talk to each other after separation it makes contact easier. There are things that you can do to help this:

  • Discuss holidays, special dates and occasions in advance.
  • You could take turns having the children during school holidays.
  • If you are unable to go to parents’ evenings together maybe take turns about at that too.
  • Share information from the school and doctor so you both feel involved.
  • You could consider involving your children in deciding how you share their care with their other parent but avoid asking them to take sides or settle arguments.
  • Remember that you are doing this for your children.
  • Complete a Parenting Plan that helps you arrange how you and your ex-partner share care.


Using a parenting plan to sort out care and contact

The Scottish Government has produced a Parenting Agreement for Scotland. It includes a Parenting Plan. The plan will help both you and your child’s other parent discuss and agree on the future contact arrangements for your children.

You get 2 copies of the Parenting Plan so that you can both have a record of what has been agreed. The plan also contains a Charter for Grandchildren – a reminder of the important role grandparents and the wider family can play in a child’s life.

The Parenting Plan is not legally binding but putting time and effort into completing it could be less costly and stressful than using more formal legal services to arrange contact.

Copies of the documents are available from: