Many married couples seek divorce in Scotland for many reasons such as unreasonable behaviour, domestic abuse, someone having committed adultery, irretrievable breakdown or another reason that affects your relationship. In most circumstances, ordinary procedure takes place but it is common to come across media articles about couples getting a quick divorce and there is certainly an increased demand for a quick divorce process and simplified procedure. For further information on this, read the article below.
Simplified Divorce Procedure
The term “quick divorce” isn’t favoured by all and sometimes an ordinary procedure needs to take place. However, in Scotland, there is such a process known as Simplified Divorce procedure which, amongst other factors, was intended to speed up and simplify the Divorce process for separated couples. Our specialist Family Law team are here to provide advice on this process and guide you through the divorce proceedings.
It can also be known colloquially as a “DIY Divorce”. A Simplified divorce can be granted within six to eight weeks and this an attractive feature of the procedure.
You can use this procedure to get divorced if you meet certain criteria. If there are no outstanding financial matters to be resolved between you and your spouse and there are no children of the marriage under the age of 16 then you can use this procedure.
How do I qualify for the Simplified Divorce procedure?
In order to qualify for a Simplified Divorce, you must have been separated from your spouse for at least two years. If you have not been separated for two years, you will still qualify for a Simplified Divorce if you have been separated for at least 12 months and you have the consent of your spouse in relation to the Divorce.
When applying for a Simplified Divorce, we recommend you seek the assistance of a family law solicitor who can guide you through the process.
What happens if I don’t qualify for a Simplified Divorce in Scotland?
If your circumstances don’t meet the above requirements, you will be unable to apply for a Simplified Divorce procedure and instead you will need to apply to use the Ordinary Divorce Procedure.
What are the first steps?
Before initiating the divorce or dissolution process under Scots Law, it is imperative to first determine and establish jurisdiction. Additionally, it’s crucial to note that this procedure is not applicable if your spouse/civil partner is afflicted with a mental disorder that hinders their comprehension or ability to provide consent for the divorce application. In such instances, the ordinary divorce procedure must be pursued.
How do I establish jurisdiction?
To pursue a divorce or dissolution using the Simplified Divorce procedure, you must satisfy additional requirements related to residence, known as establishing jurisdiction. These criteria vary depending on whether you are filing the application in the Sheriff Court or Court of Session. In either case, you must be able to affirm:
You and your spouse/civil partner are habitually resident in Scotland, and/or
Both you and your spouse/civil partner were last habitually resident together in Scotland, and one of you still resides there, and/or
Your spouse/civil partner is habitually resident in Scotland, and/or
You are habitually resident in Scotland, having resided there for at least one year immediately before making this application, and/or
You are habitually resident in Scotland and have resided there for at least six months immediately before this application, and you are domiciled in Scotland, and/or
Both you and your spouse/civil partner are domiciled in Scotland.
If none of the above conditions apply, you can still apply for a simplified divorce or dissolution if either you or your spouse/civil partner are domiciled in Scotland.
Applying in the Sheriff Court
For those applying in the Sheriff Court, one of the following must also be true:
You have lived at your current address for at least 40 days before signing the application, or
Your spouse/civil partner has lived at their current address for at least 40 days before the date of you signing the application, or
Either you or your spouse/civil partner have no known residence in Scotland but lived at the address shown for at least 40 days, ending not more than 40 days before the date of you signing the application.
Will I need to go to Court?
No, there is no need for a court appearance in this case. The family lawyer handling the matter ensures that you won’t have to attend court proceedings. However, there is a necessary affidavit in a specific format that must be sworn and signed in the presence of a Notary Public or Justice of the Peace. Therefore, you will need to schedule a meeting with a Notary Public or Justice of the Peace.
How long does the process take?
A Simplified Divorce is a much quicker process than an ordinary procedure. It can usually be completed in 4-6 weeks.
Remember, to qualify for a Simplified Divorce, you must must have been separated from your spouse for at least two years. If you have not been separated for two years, you will still qualify for a Simplified Divorce if you have been separated for at least 12 months and you have the consent of your spouse in relation to the Divorce, remembering they must have mental capacity to do so. There must also be no outstanding financial matters to be resolved between you and your spouse and there are no children of the marriage under the age of 16.
Take control of your future and get legal advice today
While Simplified Divorce is a significant step, seeking legal advice is recommended. Professional guidance ensures that all aspects of the process are correctly understood, and your rights and obligations are protected.
If you would like legal advice or to instruct one of our experienced Family Law solicitors to guide you through a Simplified Divorce, call our friendly team today on 0800 292 2035. We’ll focus on your best interests and help you reach agreement that works for you.
Jones Whyte Polish Translator We would like to introduce Alicia Sikaric, the newest addition to our Family Law department at Jones Whyte. Alicia has recently joined us as a paralegal in Family Law, bringing an extensive wealth of experience and a diverse language skill set to our team. Fluent in…
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