In order to get divorced in Scotland you need to go to court.
You can ask the court to grant lots of different things in addition to divorce such as award a pension share, maintenance, transfer the house give you a capital sum. The court can also deal with where the children are going to live and levels of contact within the divorce action.
Technically, you could ask the court to decide all issues in respect of your separation. Sometimes you ask the court to decide just a few- for example you can sort out where the children are going to live without court intervention but you just can’t agree on what the division of assets is going to be.
If you ask the court to make decisions other than divorce, this is going to cost you money and take up a lot of your time as there will be multiple court hearings.
My top tip is to try to sort everything else out so that you are only asking the court for divorce.
That way costs are kept down.
There are a number of types of divorce:
This is the easiest and cheapest way to proceed. You fill out a form and lodge that with the court along with your marriage certificate and the court fee. The court sends this to your spouse and if there is no opposition within a certain time period the court will grant a divorce. If you proceed this way you need to be sure that you have sorted out all financial issues as once divorce has been granted there is no going back to make financial claims. You need to be separated one year and have your spouse consent or be separated two years after which their consent is no longer required. You can only use this process if you have no children under 16. You are generally divorced within 6-8 weeks.
Ordinary divorce undefended.
This type of divorce is generally used where you do have children under 16. The court has to be sure that your children are being well cared for so won’t grant a divorce without knowing a bit about the arrangements for the children. A lawyer drafts a writ and provides he court with some detail as to the care arrangements for the children.
Normally this is the final stage in the process and you and your spouse have already signed a separation agreement and you are only seeking divorce so the action is undefended. Once a period of time has elapsed ( normally 21 days) the case will proceed as undefended. Your lawyer will minute for decree of divorce. Along with the minute, two affidavits need to be lodged detailing the care arrangements for the children. The court can refuse to grant divorce until it is satisfied that the care arrangements for the children are satisfactory. That is extremely rare as a good lawyer knows what type of detail the court needs. You are generally divorced within 6-8 weeks.
This is where you are asking the court to sort out some or all your issues along with divorce. You may be asking for something your spouse doesn’t agree with so they defend the action or vice versa.
This kind of divorce can take a lot of time, be emotionally draining and cost a lot of money.