Separation and Divorce

Whether you have separated or are considering separating, you need an experienced solicitor on your side who will offer objective, reliable and clear advice to steer you through the process to a satisfactory resolution. We have extensive experience, both in and out of court, to help clients resolve their family law issues.

Separation

When parties decide to separate, whether married, in a civil partnership, or cohabiting, there are various matters which require to be resolved. These may include but are not limited to: Care Arrangements for children of the relationship; Financial Issues, such as division of assets and liabilities including properties, pensions and savings; Practical Issues such as where parties will live moving forward; and other matters including ownership of pets and division of items within properties.

Different legislation applies to those who are married or in a civil partnership and those who are cohabiting. It is important that you take specialist legal advice to allow you to make informed decisions around your separation and the next steps to allow you to move forward.  If you are in a cohabiting couple please click (here) for further information.

For those who are married/civil partners, the starting point for all assets and liabilities accrued through the period of the marriage/civil partnership is the fair sharing principle – with parties receiving 50/50 split. There are various special circumstances which can be applied to argue that the 50/50 split should not apply.

Equally, parties can come to an agreement that suits their own financial and personal circumstances but whatever the situation we strongly advise that parties enter into a written document known as a minute of agreement or a separation agreement which sets out what has been agreed and the obligations of each party in respect of the agreement.

Crucially, if parties are married or in a civil partnership, all financial matters and matters relating to any children of the marriage require to be resolved prior to the court being willing to grant divorce/dissolution.

There are a variety of options available to resolve matters. We can:

  • negotiate with the other party and/or their solicitor;
  • send parties to mediation where an experienced mediator can assist with helping parties come to agreement regarding their issues;
  • utilise the collaborative process whereby parties have four way meetings with their respective solicitors and also employ the services of a financial neutral (adviser) and family counsellor;
  • arbitration;
  • or litigation.

Whilst we endeavour to resolve all matters out with the court setting there are times where litigation is a necessity and we are just as comfortable in court as we are employing alternative dispute resolution methods as detailed above.

We can guide you through the process including considering which steps are appropriate and/or necessary in your case.

Once all financial and child related matters are resolved, you can move forward to divorce. You may wish to view our factsheets on separation and divorce for further information on the process involved for divorce here in Scotland.

Please call us for further advice on 01383 431 101 or email danielle@caritaslegal.co.uk

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