How to get a divorce in Scotland

Written by nick redfern Google
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How to get a divorce in Scotland
Divorce in Scotland: the facts you need (Getty Thinkstock)

For anyone faced with the stress-filled prospect of divorce, it's never an easy process. But there are some places where it's easier than others. One of those is Scotland. In Scottish law, there are two specific forms of divorce: (a) the DIY Divorce; and (b) the Ordinary Divorce Procedure. By determining which category you fall into, you can make the transition from marriage to divorce less painful than you might assume.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • If you live in Scotland and are getting divorced, there are certain criteria to fulfill. The court will require evidence the marriage has collapsed irretrievably. That's to say there has been adultery or unreasonable behaviour in the relationship. If you can show you have lived apart for at least twelve months, and that both of you agree to the split, divorce can go ahead on those grounds, also. And you'll need to acquaint yourself with the required paperwork to file too, which can be obtained from the Scottish Courts Service.

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    DIY vs. the ordinary angle

  1. 1

    The fairly simple so-called DIY Procedure requires there are no children below the age of 16 involved and that both parties can agree upon how to split their assets. Which, in terms of the DIY approach, is very often done without involving high-priced solicitors. If kids are involved, however, then the Ordinary Divorce Procedure is the only option available. But, providing that agreement can be made on who gets what, and both parties are in agreement regarding with who the children will live, then the divorce can proceed through the court system as what is known as an Undefended Case and with relative ease.

    How to get a divorce in Scotland
    The process begins (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)
  2. 2

    Filing for divorce on the grounds of adultery in Scotland is a matter that needs to be studied carefully. For example, it should be noted that same-sex adultery in Scotland is not seen as grounds for divorce. In most cases, however, it is seen as falling under the category of unreasonable behaviour. The court will require a statement that confirms an extra-marital affair occurred, and may even request certain data regarding when and where, specifically, adultery took place.

    How to get a divorce in Scotland
    Committing adultery in Scotland (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)
  3. 3

    One of the biggest questions that gets asked when divorce looms is: what, exactly, constitutes unreasonable behaviour? In Scotland it can include varying degrees of physical violence, psychological intimidation, and mental cruelty. It can also include one partner preventing the other from interacting with friends or leaving the home. If you fall into these categories you may - as what is termed the Pursuer - file for divorce from your spouse, known as the Defender in divorce law.

    How to get a divorce in Scotland
    Behaviour of the unreasonable kind (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Tips and warnings

  • Contact the Scottish Citizens Advice Bureau for information and guidance. If, despite getting divorced, you're still on good terms with your other half, consider whether you really want to hire solicitors, who will likely charge an arm and a leg.
  • Ensure you are aware of the legal requirements for divorce in Scotland. Understand the nature of both DIY Divorce and Ordinary Divorce Procedure. Make sure all requested forms are submitted correctly and in timely fashion.

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