Separation and Divorce
Experienced Divorce Lawyers
Separation and divorce can be a painful, stressful and often confusing time for families and individuals, even if the circumstances are amicable. Our Family Law team are experienced at guiding you through the process, offering you clear and empathetic advice whilst seeking to protect your interests.
For most people facing a separation the most important questions are often around child contact and division of shared assets – most notably – the family home.
Coming to an agreement about child residence and contact can be emotionally challenging for both parents. Conflict between separating parents can negatively affect children - so, our priority is to help you both to protect your children, minimise conflict and to agree an arrangement that works well for everyone.
When it comes to financial matters, you and your ex may or may not agree on how to divide your assets. Either way, it is important to take legal advice to ensure that you know what you are entitled to. We can advise you on what a fair settlement looks like and how to achieve it.
Once a settlement has been agreed, we would work towards finalising a Separation Agreement.
A Separation Agreement is a contract which lays out in detail the terms of the settlement between you. It mainly covers division of assets and shared property but can also set out arrangements for residence and contact for your children. We always work with our clients to conclude a Separation Agreement making sure that every detail is covered in order to protect your interests both today and in the future.
Once a Separation Agreement has been signed and registered, a divorce should be considered as the next step.
What are the grounds for divorce?
In Scotland, there are two grounds for divorce. The most common by far is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. This can be
demonstrated in four ways:
- Unreasonable behaviour
- Non-cohabitation for two years
- Non-cohabitation for one year with your spouse’s consent to divorce
The other ground for divorce is where one member of the couple undergoes a transition to the opposite gender.
You may qualify for using the Simplified Divorce Procedure – this is a cheaper and more straightforward process, which you can apply for yourself – although you will need a solicitor to notarise your forms.
To use the Simplified Divorce Procedure, you must be able to tick these 3 boxes:
- There are no children of the marriage under 16 years old
- There are no outstanding financial matters between you and your spouse
- You have not lived together for one year and both parties consent to the divorce/you have not lived together for two years, in which case the party seeking divorce does not need their spouse’s consent to the divorce
You must also satisfy certain rules about where you both live. These can be quite complex, so it is important to get legal advice regarding these requirements.
If you cannot use the Simplified Divorce Procedure, we will be able to assist you in raising a court action for divorce. If financial matters and issues relating to the children have been settled, this divorce will proceed as undefended and will not require a court appearance.
“I just want to say thank you for your guidance and assistance through this matter, I appreciate the measured and sensitive approach shown by you…I found your approach to my circumstances both professional and sincere.” Client testimonial
Need to find out more?
If you would like more information about a divorce or separation law, please contact Jennifer Broatch or Cameron Shaw in our family law team. Alternatively, please call 0131 226 4081 for Edinburgh, 01334 475 001 for Fife.
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