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Why you Should Keep Divorce out of Court

I believe divorce court is a place of last resort. This is because by going to court, you are surrendering all control to a stranger- a judge. Through no fault of your own, you may find yourself in court as your ex has raised proceedings. I frequently find myself acting for clients who find themselves in court against their wishes. Traditionally, the court was the default option, and for some lawyers, this is their comfort zone.

My pledge to you is that I won’t take your case on if I think my intervention will cause damage. In the majority of cases, I believe that resorting to a divorce court will do more harm than good. My approach is guided by a sincere dedication to your well-being and the pursuit of solutions that prioritise your best interests and minimise distress.


The Downsides of Going to a Divorce Court

Adversarial Process:

The nature of court proceedings can become adversarial, with each side attempting to portray the other negatively, leading to a cycle of response and counter-response.

Written Word:

The court mandates written pleadings and affidavits, which, once submitted, become permanent records and cannot be retracted.

Lack of Face-to-Face Communication:

Court procedures often lack direct, face-to-face communication, fostering barriers and potential mistrust between parties.

Strict Timetabling

The divorce court follows a rigid schedule, and rescheduling is not accommodating to individuals experiencing challenging days.


Cases may experience delays, and the opposing party can seek continuations, prolonging the resolution process.


Court proceedings can be financially burdensome and emotionally draining for those involved. 


Why you should not make decisions when emotions are high

If you are in the midst of a contested divorce, you will still be grieving the end of your relationship, and you will likely be feeling very hurt and mistrustful towards your ex. Amidst this emotional turmoil, there’s often little time to pause and take a breath. 

Many cases settle on the morning of a proof or trial. Imagine having to brace for a face-to-face encounter with an ex who has made hurtful statements about you in a court setting, and you’re required to present evidence against them. Likely, you’ve had a sleepless night grappling with the impending confrontation. In this charged atmosphere, you’re being forced to negotiate a deal, whether it’s on the courthouse steps or in some makeshift room. This challenging situation further emphasises the emotional toll of contested divorces and the importance of seeking alternatives that prioritise a more measured and supportive resolution process.

Lawyers will draft separation agreements there and then, and you are expected to sign immediately. Many clients have shared with me their experience of feeling disoriented and highly stressed during these moments, expressing a sense of being so wound up that they could have agreed to anything

Even if your case reaches the divorce court, my commitment remains steadfast in making the experience as positive as possible for you. I strive to collaborate with the opposing lawyer, seeking common ground and proposing face-to-face discussions, even if they’re solely between legal representatives, in an effort to explore the potential for a negotiated settlement. This approach reflects my dedication to ensuring that, regardless of the circumstances, the process remains respectful, considerate, and mindful of your well-being.


Why you should consider arbitration

Another option I would always consider before court is arbitration. Arbitration is a thoughtful alternative to court proceedings, offering a more personalised and efficient way to navigate the complexities of family law matters. In this process, you and your ex-partner have the unique opportunity to choose an Arbitrator, typically a specialised family lawyer, ensuring that your case is in capable hands. The beauty of arbitration lies in its streamlined nature, minimising delays and fostering a focused, confidential environment for discussions.

Your chosen Arbitrator dedicates their attention solely to your case, allowing for a more tailored and empathetic resolution to intricate issues such as asset division, child custody, and spousal support. The decisions reached in arbitration are usually binding, providing a swifter and more caring resolution to the challenges you may be facing. By opting for arbitration, you are empowered to take control of the process, promoting a collaborative and compassionate approach to dispute resolution within the realm of Scottish divorce law.

If this sounds like the ideal approach for you, don’t hesitate to get in contact. I have acted as an arbitrator on countless cases, and I really pride myself on my local reputation, with over 60 5-star Google reviews.


When is going to court necessary in a divorce? 

Court becomes necessary in certain situations where alternative methods fail to resolve disputes effectively. While I generally encourage clients to explore non-court options for their divorce, there are instances where judicial intervention is crucial. For example, if meaningful progress in negotiations with your ex-partner is unattainable, especially in matters like child custody, or if you’re considering relocating internationally with your children, seeking court involvement may become necessary. 

Similarly, if you’re considering relocating to another country with your children, facing non-disclosure of financial information by your ex-partner, or dealing with legal proceedings initiated against you, attempting negotiations may feel like you are investing resources without yielding results. In such cases, seeking judicial intervention is necessary, as a judge can provide the needed order to address these complex and challenging situations.

Additionally, cases involving the non-disclosure of financial information by your ex-partner or responding to legal proceedings initiated against you might require the structured and authoritative decisions that a court can provide. While court is not the default, it remains an essential option in certain circumstances to ensure fair and just resolutions to complex divorce issues.


How I can help you

With over 25 years of helping families through divorce and separation, I have gained a deep understanding of the challenges they face. My approach combines the legal expertise of the Scottish divorce law with emotional support to guide my clients through this difficult process with empathy and care. I am committed to empowering individuals and families, putting their rights and well-being at the forefront of everything I do.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you are interested in my services. Whether you have questions, need guidance, or are ready to proceed, I’m here to support you through the process.