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Options Hearing - A brief explanation

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Where a divorce is defended in the sheriff court the next stage is an Options Hearing. This is intended to give parties a chance to meet before the sheriff in order to ascertain if agreement can be reached without proceeding to a full proof (see below) or, if this is not possible, to focus the precise disagreement between parties.

An Options Hearing is purely procedural and the sheriff has no power to make an order. Instead he/she is trying to make an informed decision as to what should be the next step in the court procedure. In most cases this will be a ‘proof’, ie a full court hearing where evidence is given by witnesses in open court.

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