If you are currently married but are thinking about separating or if you already have separated you will need expert advice as to the best course of action to take.
Most people worry about what would be best for their children and how the financial situation will be resolved.
Some typical questions are;
- What will happen to the children? Where will they stay? Who will they stay with?
- What will happen to the family’s home?
- Will there be enough money to pay the bills?
- How will the various assets be shared?
- Who will pay the debts?
Many people separate, negotiate a settlement and enter into a Minute of Agreement (sometimes called a ‘Separation Agreement’). Once that has been done a divorce can proceed.
If it is not possible to reach an Agreement about a particular matter the issue may have to be decided by the Courts.
In Scotland , in order to obtain a divorce the marriage has to have broken down irretrievably. This can be as a result of one of the following grounds;
- Unreasonable behaviour.
- Separation for over one year ( If both parties agree).
- Separation for over two years (consent is not necessary).
If all financial matters have been resolved and there are no children under the age of 16 the Simplified Procedure can be used which is quick and can be obtained by the client themselves or by a solicitor for a very reasonable fee.
If there are children over the age of 16 then it is necessary to use the Ordinary Procedure which is more complicated and for which the client will require the services of a solicitor.
The whole process is more straightforward if the parties can reach an agreement about the welfare of the children and the financial situation. If agreement cannot be reached then, rather than let the courts decide; which could be a lengthy and expensive process, it is possible to use Mediation or the Collaborative Process to resolve matters.
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