A number of issues arose in X v Y, 2018 SAC (Civ) 10 (20 February 2018), an unusual appeal against decisions of a sheriff in relation to interim orders and in respect of an order to intimate form F9s to children of the parties. The appellant considered that the form F9 was inappropriate where the younger child could not read and write and was too young. The sheriff had been satisfied that the form would be drafted appropriately and the child might be able to produce a drawing.

The Appeal Court concluded “it is highly unlikely” that the form F9 would provide a great deal of useful information to the court. Expressing considerable doubt about the efficacy of serving the form on a child of four years of age, the court directed the sheriff to appoint a reporter to seek the views of the children.

The court expressed disapproval of the appeal against the sheriff's refusal to make an interim contact order and considered that leave to appeal should not have been granted, and would not have been had a “robust” enquiry as to the grounds of appeal been carried out.