Divorce solicitors in Scotland
Our divorce lawyers, based throughout Scotland with offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Moray and Shetland, specialise in all types of divorce, dissolution and legal separation.
Divorce & Separation Lawyers
The end of a marriage or civil partnership can be a very difficult time, not only for the separating parties but also for any children. There are often many matters that require being resolved before it is possible to secure the outcome of a divorce or dissolution.
Our divorce solicitors specialise in all types of divorce proceedings, dissolution and legal separation so whatever your situation, we are here to provide expert advice that suits your needs. This may include financial, property or issues related to child arrangements and child welfare. We will discuss your circumstances with complete discretion and understanding before providing tailored advice for you, helping to make the process as straightforward and painless as possible.
In any separation or divorce, the division of finances can be a complicated and difficult task. This may be due to there being several financial issues such as assets or debts/liabilities owned jointly, or in your sole names which will require to be untangled and divided during the divorce process. Our expert divorce solicitors will provide specialist advice and help you to work through the complex legal process as smoothly as possible.
Common questions about divorce & separation
A divorce is the legal termination or end of a marriage otherwise than by death by the granting of a Decree of Divorce. Dissolution is the term given to describe the legal termination of a Civil Partnership. A divorce or dissolution will be granted by the Sheriff Court or the Court of Session.
In Scotland, a divorce of marriage can be established on four separation grounds. A dissolution of a civil partnership can be granted on any of the below grounds other than adultery.
- Adultery – whereby one party has engaged an affair or relationship with another individual of the opposite sex
- Unreasonable Behaviour
- Where the parties have been separated for a period in excess of one year and the other spouse provides their consent
- Where the parties have been separated for a period in excess of two years
Prior to a divorce being granted, a Court will need to be satisfied:
- The financial aspects of the separation have either been agreed or determined by the Court.
- The long term care arrangements for any children under the age of sixteen have been agreed, failing which determined by a Court.
There are two main types of divorce proceedings.
The Simplified Procedure is only available where:
- There are no children of the marriage or partnership under the age of sixteen years
- There are no financial matters to be resolved
- The parties have been separated for a period in excess of one year
- Both parties agree to the Divorce or Dissolution proceeding
The Simplified Procedure is cheaper and quicker than the Ordinary Cause Procedure.
The Ordinary Cause Procedure is required whereby one party wishes to divorce or dissolve a civil partnership, and one or more of the following apply:
- The divorce is proceeding on the grounds of adultery (only available to marriage and not Civil Partnership)
- The divorce is proceeding on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour
- There are financial matters at dispute between the parties
- The arrangements for the children are not agreed
- A Divorce under this procedure can however also be raised on the grounds of one year’s non cohabitation with consent of the other spouse, or whereby the parties have been separated for a period of two years.
- This option of divorce proceedings is necessary where there are children of the marriage or partnership under the age of sixteen years.
In the first instance it is important to try and work through and resolve matters by discussing or negotiating matters with your spouse or partner.
It is important to seek independent legal advice so that you understand your legal rights. Family Mediation may be an option which may assist in addressing immediate concerns.
Alternatively, negotiations involving the parties divorce solicitors may assist in both parties reaching an amicable settlement on the matters which are not agreed. Where such methods of resolving matters prove unsuccessful, it is possible for either party to seek certain financial orders under the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985 on divorce proceedings or dissolution.
In such situations, it is important that parents agree on what is in their children’s best interests. A separation is often a difficult transition for children. Family Mediation offers a range of services to assist parents effectively co-parent their children after a separation.
The use of such family law services can help the parties reach an agreement or make progress in improving lines of communication. Where an agreement does not look likely to be achieved, divorce solicitors can assist in negotiating matters on behalf of both parties with a view to reaching an agreement.
In the event that negotiations prove unsuccessful, it is possible to seek the assistance of the Court to determine what would be in the child’s best interests.
In Divorces involving children, either party may seek also a court order in terms of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 in respect of the children. It is possible to ask the Court to make a Residence/Custody Order, a Contact/Access Order, an Order for Parental Rights and Responsibilities or a Specific Issue Order.
In cases of a simplified divorce, no attendance at court by the parties is required.
In Ordinary Divorce actions, if the divorce is not defended or opposed by the other party, then usually there would be no requirement for either party to attend court. In the event that a divorce is disputed and defended, depending on whether the court action fully progresses to a final hearing, both parties attendance at court may be required for certain types of court hearings.
Legal aid is a governmental support system that helps cover legal costs for individuals who may otherwise struggle to afford them. If you are unable to cover the associated legal costs of hiring a divorce lawyer, you may be eligible to apply for legal aid. This service ensures that everyone has access to justice, regardless of their financial situation. However, it’s important to note that not all legal firms offer this service. At Harper Macleod, we don’t offer legal aid services. Nevertheless, if you are in need of such support, there are legal aid divorce solicitors available who can assist you. For more information, visit the following site – https://www.mygov.scot/legal-aid.
Find more frequently asked questions about divorce by clicking the link.
Harper Macleod divorce lawyers
At Harper Macleod, we will work with you to understand your position and assist you in achieving the best outcome for you and your family. Our firm serves as a one-stop shop for all your legal needs, ensuring a cost-effective, responsive and empathetic service.
Thinking about getting a divorce and would like to talk to an experienced team of divorce solicitors? Call your local office today or submit a service form for a call-back.
“All proceedings were pretty painless, the stress of the hole affair had been eased knowing that Jane had the matter in hand and was looking out for my best interests.”
“I really appreciated how I was listened to and understood in my separation/divorce by your solicitors. It was very important to me that the focus was not on financial settlements, what I wanted was to ensure the best arrangements for my daughter and that was achieved through the minute of agreement and divorce proceedings. I felt understood that the relationship as a co-parent was more important than point scoring or “winning” in the court arena. Your team have helped me secure the best arrangements for my daughter and keeping this out of the court arena, which I am so grateful for. I am also thankful for the emotional support and understanding from your solicitors, I have felt supported from the first first phone call, up to the last emails confirming the divorce had been agreed by the Sheriff Court. Thank you again, I hope that I won’t have the need to do any of this again, but if I did, then I would definitely want the same team supporting me. Thank you!”
“Overall, I have been extremely happy with the professional handling of my separation / divorce matters. All the staff I’ve encountered have been warm, friendly, and above all, professional in their dealings. Although it is not my intention to get divorced again, I would be happy to use the company for other matters!”
“Prompt and efficient service. Grant Hassan would chase things up if things stalled and is highly recommended. I would use them anytime if it is required.”
“Laura McLean was a tremendous guide to me during a difficult divorce. I was shown empathy, expertise and will forever be grateful.”
“Alexis and her team were extremely professional and fully supported me throughout the whole process. They were also very empathetic in their approach and alleviated stress during challenging times to ensure that my interests, and my children’s, were always put first. Excellent service.”
“I am incredibly grateful for the outstanding support and guidance I received from Alexis during a challenging time in my life. Her expertise, compassion, and dedication were unwavering as she helped me navigate the process of reaching a separation agreement with my wife. Alexis not only provided expert legal advice but also demonstrated genuine empathy. Her approach-ability, clear communication, and professionalism made an emotionally difficult situation much more manageable.I wholeheartedly recommend her services to anyone seeking a family lawyer.”
“Grant Hassan is a committed and attentive solicitor who consistently gave excellent advice and support throughout a difficult period. He made me feel in a ‘safe pair or hands.’”
“Going through a separation and divorce with young children can be a real challenging, emotional time and ensuring the security of the children’s needs, and their future, is paramount. Having Laura and Harper MacLeod supporting my case during such procedures was very helpful, supportive and went really smoothly, despite feeling it could be very anxiety provoking. However, I can honestly say the service I was provided with was first class – I felt very informed when making choices, listened to, and most of all, the needs of both myself and my children were always addressed promptly without any long delays. I commend Laura for her excellent service and people skills – she really did go above and beyond to ensure she was with me every step of the way. Since having Harper Macleod representation I have a new home, my children have settled well with a fair agreement for childcare and their time with their dad. I would recommend this company for anyone who requires the vital support during a separation, or divorce, in relation to children and their needs.”
“I never imagined I would have to go through a divorce and this was a particularly difficult time for me. The service I received from Natalie and Jenny (and to a lesser extent Grant) was excellent. They were so helpful and patient given the length of time it took for matters to be resolved, in what should have been a simple and straightforward process. I am very grateful and cannot recommend Harper Macleod highly enough.”
“I contacted Harper Macleod for assistance and was quickly contacted by Jenny Smith who was highly knowledgeable, professional and reassuring. Jenny kept me regularly informed and up to date with how things were progressing and was always prompt in replying to any concerns or queries I raised throughout. I am very grateful for Harper Macleod’s excellent services and would use them again if necessary without hesitation. Thank you.”
“Jane was gracious, thorough and very professional throughout. She is an incredibly efficient and personable individual who made the process of separation and divorce manageable in a very human and supportive way.”
“I found the main solicitor I dealt with to have not only a great understanding of the law but also an appreciation of the morality of the situation I found myself in. That made a huge difference to me.”
“I cannot praise Harper Macleod highly enough, and in particular the support given by Amanda Masson. Outstanding service, professional and personable in proper and equal measure.”
“Amanda’s advice and expertise were invaluable during an extremely challenging time, as were her humanity and empathy which made the process less painful than it might otherwise have been. Thank you.”
“Alexis Harper has been a source of huge safety and security in the most difficult personal circumstances. Alexis and her team have made me feel like their number one priority, we have experienced frustrations working with another professional from a different firm, where there have been delays in the process from this.”
“Amanda Masson is an excellent lawyer. I can see from the files she has sent me that she goes above and beyond for her clients, that she gives them clear advice and that they feel fully supported by her. I respect her view – which is always spot on and clever.”
“Jenny asks the difficult questions and very often has the answers.” “She is a very careful operator who really considers what she is trying to achieve for clients and thins through the pros and cons.” “She is a very knowledgeable, proactive realistic and exceptionally hard-working.”
“Karen is very knowledgeable in what she does and is able to reassure and provide support in what are difficult times.” “She has an analytical approach to matters and a no-nonsense approach.”
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