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Divorce 101: Divorce Procedure In Scotland (#9)

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No. 9 - Divorce Procedure In Scotland 

There are actually two divorce procedures in Scotland: the simplified ("do-it-yourself") procedure and the ordinary procedure.  The spouse who applies for the divorce is called the 'pursuer' and the other the 'defender.'

Simplified / DIY Procedure

The DIY procedure is available only if:

  • the divorce is uncontested - if a party objects to the procedure at any stage, it will stop;

Ordinary Divorce Procedure

Where a DIY divorce is unavailable, a pursuer must use the ordinary divorce procedure.

The ordinary divorce procedure begins with the solicitor for the pursuer drafting a summons (in the Court of Session) or an initial writ (in the sheriff court). 

The divorce application is sent to the court and a copy is served on the defender.  Where adultery is a ground for divorce, a copy is also sent to the third person involved if he or she is named in the application.

If the defender agrees about the  and what to do about any children, money and property the divorce can go to court as an undefended case.  In this event, neither partner usually has to go to court.  The sheriff will examine the case and the divorce will then be granted unless the court requires further information.

If the defender does not agree about the grounds for the divorce, or issues about the children, money or property the divorce application will go to court as a defended case.  Defended cases can be long and expensive, but it may be possible to settle disputes using or the .

** Additional Information & Advice **

You can obtain further information about divorce in Scotland on .

Depending on your circumstances, however, you may want to speak with a .  You can be in your area for free via solicitor matching services, which can also help you to understand the best course of action and whether you are ready to hire a solicitor.

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