Family law changes 'causing chaos'

A number of alterations made to legislation affecting family law in Scotland last year have resulted in "chaos" for the legal profession, it has been claimed.

The Scottish executive has been accused of failing to fulfil obligations to publicise the changes made to the law, the Herald reports.

Implemented in last spring, the implications of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 remain unfamiliar to much of the Scottish public, the Family Law Association(FLA) Scotland told the publication.

FLA chair Helen Hughes commented: "When a new law is introduced which potentially affects the lives of many, the executive has a responsibility to educate the public on the changes introduced."

She suggested that the changes to the law had not been well publicised despite the executive’s avowed commitment to ensuring public awareness.

"Most clients have no idea what their rights are", Ms Hughes added.

The act includes measures intended to extend the parental responsibilities and rights of unmarried fathers, as well as reducing the length of the separation period for divorce and increasing the rights of unmarried cohabiting couples.