Divorce Law in Scotland
The law on divorce in Scotland is different from the law in other parts of the UK. In Scotland, you can get a divorce if you can prove that your marriage has ‘irretrievably broken down’. This means that you and your spouse have been living apart for at least a year and that there is no reasonable prospect of reconciling.
The grounds for divorce
In order to get a divorce in Scotland, you must be able to prove one of the following grounds:
- That your spouse has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to live with them;
- That your spouse has behaved in such a way that it would be unreasonable to expect you to continue living with them (this is known as ‘mental cruelty’ or unreasonable behaviour);
- That you have been living apart from your spouse for at least two years and both of you agree to the divorce;
- That you have been living apart from your spouse for at least five years, even if they do not agree to the divorce.
The process for getting a divorce
If you want to get a divorce in Scotland, you must firstly lodge a petition for divorce with the court. Once this has been done, your spouse will be served with the petition and they will have 21 days to respond. If they do not respond, or if they agree to the divorce, then the court will grant a decree nisi and the divorce will become final after six weeks. If your spouse does not agree to the divorce, then they can contest it and the case will go to a full hearing.
The cost of getting a divorce
Getting a divorce in Scotland can be expensive, as you will need to pay court fees as well as the costs of hiring a solicitor. However, there are some ways to reduce the cost of getting a divorce by ensuring that you remain reasonable with your requests and try and make decisions based on logic rather than emotion which given the circumstances can be difficult. Divorce can have a significant financial impact on both parties involved. It is important to try to come to an agreement on how to divide assets and debts so that both parties are treated fairly. If you cannot reach an agreement, the court will make a decision for you.
The impact of getting a divorce on children
If you have children, getting a divorce can be very difficult for them and have a significant impact. It is important to try and make the process as smooth as possible for them and to ensure that they still feel loved and supported by both parents. There are many resources available to help children deal with their parents’ divorce, such as books, websites, and support groups.
Support During and After Divorce
There are many organisations that offer support to people going through divorce, such as Citizens Advice Bureaux and law centres. These organisations can provide advice on your rights and responsibilities, help you fill out forms, and put you in touch with other services that may be able to help you