FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

We promote marriage as the best foundation for stable family life, benefitting adults, children and wider society.  

Schools should teach the facts about marriage and its rationale.  The tax and benefits system should recognise marriage and ensure that it is never penalised.  SFP MSPs would exercise cultural leadership by promoting marriage in the media, the debating chamber and through special events.

Steps to make the legal process of divorce easier undermine the status of marriage as a solemn, lifelong commitment.

Marriage and relationship counselling should be provided and funded to aid relationship stability.

Family Courts should ensure that parents are not denied fair access to their children without substantiated serious grounds.  Claims that a parent is unsuitable must be supported by convincing evidence.  Failures to cooperate with child access arrangements should be dealt with swiftly and effectively.

Domestic abuse law should not cover vaguely defined “psychological abuse”. It is too imprecise and open to spurious application.  For example, laws relating to making a person “dependent on another person” or “feel ….. humiliated or degraded” could be interpreted to cover behaviours far short of “abuse” and risk bringing the threat of legal sanction into more superficial relationship conflicts.  Such laws are also vulnerable to exploitation for vindictive reasons.  There should be no gender-based assumption of blame, but a balanced assessment of the facts.

Organisations supporting abused men should be proportionately funded instead of being entirely neglected.

Maintaining fruitful family relationships is more challenging when families are scattered geographically.  We would seek to enable extended families to stay closer together through measures to make housing affordable and to encourage employers to make it possible for employees to pursue careers without moving far from home.