Couple Beach

Family -lawIn Scotland there is only one ground for divorce and that is irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. This can be proved in a number of ways:

  • One year separation if both parties agree to the divorce
  • Two years' separation if only one party wants the divorce
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Adultery

We are here to help you to find your way through the process of divorce and have offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow. 

Often the most important issues for you and your partner if you decide to separate are splitting up the property in divorce and finances and how to make the right arrangements for your children's future care. We can help you with these problems. 

The division of property on divorce in Scotland is regulated by the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985. This act sets out how property and money is divided between the parties and what, if any maintenance should be paid.

Reaching financial agreement 

Many people who are separating will sort out the property and money issues first and then, once that is complete, they can divorce under a more straightforward procedure.

However if this is not possible, it may be necessary for a court action to be raised so that the court can hear evidence from both sides and then decide for the parties how the property and money should be divided. The court can also make orders in relation to maintenance. –

Usually divorcing couples can reach an agreement about finances that is formally registered and fully enforceable without putting any financial decisions in the hands of the court. Although the divorce itself will require a court action, this will be a formality if the parties have reached agreement between themselves. Legal fees are considerably reduced in this way. Generally agreement is reached by looking at how the law says the court can decide on financial provision, and using that to negotiate a settlement.

Matrimonial property

When a couple are divorcing, their money, most property and other assets owned either individually or jointly are legally defined as ‘matrimonial property’. This includes everything acquired during the marriage but not before it (with the exception of a house bought as a family home and its furnishings), and not after the final date of separation (the ‘relevant date’).

Gifts or inheritance received during marriage are not matrimonial property, but if they are used, for example, to buy a house, the house is matrimonial property.

Our divorce solicitors are here to explain to you what the law is in relation to divorce so that you can be clear on what to expect and how to deal with it. We will represent your best interests to make sure that you come to a satisfactory settlement regarding your property, money, children and any other issues that arise. We will aim to make this happen where possible through negotiation or mediation, but if necessary, we will represent you in court in order to achieve the best outcome for you.

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Fiona Rasmusen
Partner, Head of Family Law
Do you need help? I specialise in family law, divorce, separation, child contact and residence, prenuptial agreements and separation agreements.
fiona.rasmusen@gibsonkerr.co.uk
Edinburgh: 0131 208 2260
Glasgow: 0141 628 0656
or Request a callback