The breakdown of a marriage, civil partnership or a relationship where two people simply live together, is extremely stressful for both parties. Read our top five frequently asked questions below, or get in touch with our family lawyers in Aberdeen on 01224 581581 for specialist advice.
Possibly, but probably not. Whilst the local sheriff court ultimately grants the order of divorce, it is unusual for individuals to have to attend court in person. Normally, the parties will sign documentation with their solicitors which will provide sufficient evidence for the court to grant the divorce.
Divorce will be granted when the court is satisfied that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. There are four ways in which that can be established:
You can raise divorce proceedings immediately if your spouse has committed adultery or has behaved unreasonably. Alternatively, you need to wait one year from the date you separated (provided your spouse consents to divorce) or two years otherwise. It is, however, important to note that any financial matters are fully considered in advance of divorce being granted, otherwise the right to make certain financial claims on your spouse may be lost. Most divorces we deal with proceed after either a year of separation, failing which, if a spouse won’t provide consent, after two years.
If there are children under the age of sixteen at the time of divorce, the court will be made aware of them. Their birth certificates will need to be lodged along with your marriage certificate at the time of the divorce application. Evidence confirming the arrangements for the upbringing of the children will be provided to the court by way of sworn statements by the applicant and usually one other person. If there is any dispute between spouses as to where the children will live or how much time they will spend with the other parent, the court can become involved and make appropriate orders, if necessary.
Almost always. The amount of work you will need a solicitor to do will vary from case to case. Where you have no children under the age of sixteen and all financial matters have been agreed, there is a simplified divorce procedure available. You can apply for divorce under the simplified procedure where you have been separated for one year (if your spouse consents) or two years (where there is no consent). You will be able to complete the application yourself. You must be confident all financial matters have been dealt with as once divorce is granted, you may have lost the right to make any further claim on your spouse.
In all cases where there are children under sixteen or there are outstanding financial issues needing addressed, you will need to involve us. We will assist you resolve financial matters and in most cases, agreement with your spouse will be reached either before or during the divorce action.