How to File for Divorce in Scotland

Written by melly parker
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How to File for Divorce in Scotland
When a marriage isn't working in Scotland, you can file for divorce. (mariés image by JLG from

Getting divorced in Scotland is not a very difficult procedure once arrangements are made for the children and the financial separation of assets. For people with no children under 16 and no money issues, there's even an option called a simplified divorce that allows the entire procedure to go through without a lawyer. In order to get a divorce in Scotland, you must either live in Scotland or have been married in Scotland. Unlike most other countries, divorce proceedings in Scotland can involve the sheriff's office.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Determine if you qualify for a simplified divorce. If you live primarily in Scotland, have no children under 16, and there are no financial issues between you and your spouse, you can go to your local sheriff court and ask for the correct form. There's a £90 filing fee and you will not need a lawyer except to notarise the forms.

  2. 2

    Settle any childcare and financial matters with a lawyer and have contracts written that explain what the two of you are going to do in each matter. Divorces in Scotland cannot proceed until both childcare and financial problems have been settled.

  3. 3

    Determine what grounds you're going to use to file for divorce. In Scotland, you can file for divorce for desertion; this means that you have been abandoned for at least one year and you can use this as grounds even if you've resided together but lived obviously separate lives. You can also file for unreasonable behaviour, like drinking or gambling, adultery (which you must be able to prove), living apart for one year with both parties agreeing to the divorce, or living apart for two years if one of the partners is contesting the divorce.

  4. 4

    Download the application for divorce and file it in sheriff's court. It's cheaper than filing in Court of Session---only £175---and helps to keep the matter local.

  5. 5

    Gather evidence that proves your grounds for divorce are legitimate and give the evidence to your lawyer. When the court hears your case, the evidence and the documents attesting to your childcare and financial matters will be presented and your divorce can be granted.

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