Here is a list of frequently asked questions regarding divorce law in Scotland. If you have a question that is not answered below, then please email us and our award-winning family law team will do our best to answer. Contact us for advice today.

How is a divorce different from an annulment?

An annulment is only available if the marriage was not valid to begin with (usually for a procedural reason). In all other cases, a divorce is necessary to conclude a marriage.

How much does it cost to get divorced?

The cost will differ depending on which method is used to end the marriage. The standard procedure is subject to a court fee, while the court action to divorce (usually a lengthy and complex procedure) will incur larger legal fees that are probably in the region of four or five figures. Fees are highly dependant on your unique circumstances and should be discussed early with your legal representative.

What is a pre-nuptial agreement?

When entering a marriage a couple can set out an agreement that dictates what will happen to their property and assets in the event that they want to divorce. This agreement is treated as a binding contractual obligation between the two parties and will be enforced by the court as long as it is ‘fair and reasonable’. It will be subject to the usual contractual rules of formation and will normally refer to financial agreements rather than children.

If I want to rely on my spouse's adultery after we are separated will it still count?

Yes. Adultery takes place during the course of a marriage, even if the parties are separated.

Can I rely on my own adultery for a divorce?

No. The party bringing the proceedings has to rely on the other party's adultery.

Does it make any difference if we were married abroad?

Not as long as there is a marriage certificate.

What happens if my spouse refuses to acknowledge receipt of the divorce papers?

Sheriff Officers can serve divorce proceedings without the other party requiring to acknowledge these.

What happens if I do not know where my spouse is living?

It is not essential to know this, as long as the address of a relative is known.

Do I have to agree all arrangements for the children before divorce proceedings?

Again, issues relating to children can be resolved in divorce proceedings. It is, of course, helpful for all parties including the children, if arrangements for the children can be resolved by agreement without the necessity of a Court having to make orders.

Do I have to agree all financial matters before I start divorce proceedings?

It is not essential to agree all financial matters before a divorce proceeding. Indeed, sometimes it is not possible to agree financial matters and the divorce proceedings would include requests for payment of either capital or maintenance. However, it is beneficial for financial matters to be sorted out prior to the raising of divorce proceedings.

What are the grounds for a divorce?

In Scotland, the main ground for Divorce is "irretrievable breakdown of the marriage". This can be constituted by Adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, separation for one year with consent, and separation for two years (no consent needed).

How long do I have to be married before I can get a divorce?

Most parties divorce after a period of two years separation, with the consent of the other party. Accordingly, the normal period of marriage would be at least two years. However divorce can be granted on other grounds, namely unreasonable behaviour or adultery, which does not require a minimum period of two years of marriage.

What is the likely cost of Divorce?

Costs are dependent on whether the proceedings involve children, and all financial issues. If the proceedings are undefended, then the cost of getting divorced is substantially cheaper.

How long does it take to get divorced?

If unopposed, approximately three months.

Contact our Divorce Lawyers in Edinburgh & East Lothian, Scotland

Discussing your individual situation with a family law solicitor is the best way to ensure your assets and children are protected during the often turbulent period at the end of the relationship.

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Recognised by the Law Awards of Scotland as the Family Law Firm of the Year 2014, Thorley Stephenson aims to provide the best possible advice for those in challenging situations. Contact us for advice today. Call us on 01315569599.

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