Getting Divorced in Scotland
The decision to bring a marriage to an end is rarely taken lightly, but once the decision has been made, it raises many practical issues that need to be dealt with before going through the formal process of getting a divorce. From deciding what will happen to the matrimonial home and shared finances to where children will live, we will help you resolve these matters and more, and provide expert guidance through the complex system of rules and procedures that apply when getting a divorce in Scotland.
Process of getting a Divorce in Scotland
The rules and procedure that need to be followed depends on whether the parties agree on the reasons why the relationship has broken down, whether there are any children and whether the parties can agree about how finances and assets should be divided.
To get a divorce, the marriage must have irretrievably broken down. This means that a spouse committed adultery or behaved unreasonably, or the couple have lived separately (either in separate houses or led separate lives in the same house) for at least one year if the divorce is agreed to, or two years if it is not.
There are two procedures for getting a divorce in Scotland. The simplified procedure is meant for people who agree on the grounds of divorce, do not have children under 16 and have reached an agreement about how their financial affairs will be sorted out. It is meant to be quicker and cheaper, and takes approximately two months. Before commencing the simplified procedure, it is important to get legal advice to make sure the way finances will be divided is fair and reasonable.
The ordinary procedure is meant for people who do have children under 16 and/or cannot reach an agreement about finances and child arrangements, or the grounds of divorce. The procedure is started when a solicitor submits an initial writ to the court. The court must also see paperwork relating to child arrangements and financial matters. Once it is satisfied that there are grounds for divorce and that the arrangements for children and/or property are suitable and appropriate, it will issue a divorce certificate. How long the ordinary procedure will take depends on the circumstances. Undefended, simple cases tend to take approximately six months. It is likely to take much longer if the parties cannot reach an agreement on children arrangements or the division of assets, or if financial matters are especially complex.
Clarity on financial issues helps to speed up the divorce process in Scotland, and also helps to make it fairer. We have a network of experts who work with us to value houses, buildings and land, covering residential, business and agricultural property. We can tap into the knowledge of specialists in pensions and many other assets that need valued when a couple is divorcing. We take pride in taking a full and comprehensive approach that protects our clients’ interests.
Davidson & Shirley Divorce Solicitors in Lanark, Carluke, Motherwell & Wishaw, Scotland
We understand how emotional and stressful divorce proceedings can be. We will help you get a fair and successful outcome so you can focus on moving forward. Please contact our approachable family law solicitors on 01555 662576 or fill out our online enquiry form for more information on how we can help.