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The Law of Divorce in Scotland – What you need to know

In Scotland there are four grounds for a divorce;

  1. One Year Separation with the consent of your spouse;
  2. Two Year Separation without the need for the consent of your spouse;
  3. Adultery or;
  4. Unreasonable behaviour -under the legislation there is no specific criteria as to what constitutes as unreasonable behaviour. This will be determined on a case by case basis

If the reason for the breakdown of the marriage is adultery or unreasonable behaviour decree of divorce can be sought immediately provided a third party can corroborate the circumstances and so grounds 3 and 4 can be used at any time.

However, in all circumstances both parties must ensure two matters are settled; finances and childcare arrangements (for children under the age of 16). In Scotland, there must be no outstanding financial matters between the two parties before a divorce is granted. Separately, if there any children under the age of sixteen, childcare arrangements must be settled or determined by the court.

What is agreed between you can be as informal or as formal as the parties wish, however our advice in most circumstances would be to have a Separation Agreement drawn up (also known as a Minute of Agreement) which is basically a contract between you making the arrangements binding.

There are two types of court process- Ordinary Action or Simplified Divorce route however, it is worth noting that if you have children under 16 it will always be an Ordinary action

In terms of how long the divorce procedure can take; this can vary as a result of a number of factors. A Simplified Divorce or an Ordinary Divorce on an undefended basis can take anything from 8-12 weeks. However in cases where the situation is more contentious, it may be significantly longer. The Court in which the case is heard will also determine the length of time this can.

Divorce Legal Advice Glasgow, Shawlands, East Kilbride & Edinburgh, Scotland

Going through a divorce is a difficult time for most, and here at Clarity Simplicity Ltd we aim to make all our clients feel as comfortable as possible providing you with complete transparency about the process. If you have any queries at all please call us on 03332020722 or complete our online enquiry form. We’re happy to talk you through the process.


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