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If you have separated from your spouse or partner, one of the first things you should do is enter into a Separation Agreement (often known as a ‘legal separation’).
The Separation Agreement has a number of functions.
Establishes (for divorce purposes) the date you and your spouse separated
Regulates the care arrangements (residence and contact) for any children of the marriage/relationship;
Sets out how much aliment (maintenance money) is to be paid
Determines what is to happen to the family home
States how all of your assets and debts are to be divided
Deals (if appropriate) with pension sharing
Prevents your spouse or partner from making any surprise financial claims against you in the future
Considerably reduces the cost of getting divorced.
It is essential that a Separation Agreement be in place if you intend to sell the family home or have it transferred from joint names into the name of one of you. In all other cases, a Separation Agreement is strongly advisable. We can help you firstly to negotiate an agreement and then to draw up the Separation Agreement itself.
You can apply for a divorce in Scotland if you or your spouse has resided in Scotland during the last twelve months.
The application can be made in the Court of Session (in Edinburgh) or at one the local Sheriff Courts. Most divorces are dealt with in the Sheriff Court. The Sheriff Court which is used will depend upon the address at which you or your spouse has resided for the last forty days. The nearest Sheriff Court to Bathgate is at Linlithgow.
The ground of divorce is always irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. This can be established:
if your spouse has committed adultery;
if your spouse has behaved unreasonably towards you;
if you have lived apart for at least a year (provided your spouse is prepared to consent to a divorce); or
if you have lived apart for at least two years (consent of your spouse not required)
Normally, you would not apply for a divorce until after you and your spouse have signed a Separation Agreement. However, if you are unable to reach an agreement either on the financial aspects of the separation or the care arrangements for the children, you can start divorce proceedings and ask the court to decide things for you.
For most types of ‘uncontested’ divorces, Bathgate Family Law Practice will be able to represent you on a fixed fee basis.
When you need high quality divorce solicitors, call us today on