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Simplified Procedure – You can only use this procedure if a) you have no children under the age of 16 and b) you are seeking a divorce on the grounds of non-cohabitation only. Once you have lived apart for the required period (either 12 months with consent, or 24 months, no consent required), you can complete a simple form and submit it to the Sheriff Court. The time for granting a decree is dependent on how busy the courts are, but is usually around 6-8 weeks.

Ordinary Procedure – If you have children under the age of 16 and wish to divorce on grounds of non-cohabitation, or wish to divorce on the grounds of Unreasonable Behaviour or Adultery, then you will need to use this Procedure. An initial writ is sent to the defendant, outlining the reasons for divorce, and allowing them 21 days to seek legal advice and respond. If they chose to defend the divorce, then an Options hearing will take place. If it is an undefended divorce, then sworn statements from the pursuer are sent to the sheriff court, and a decision is made in private. For more information, please click here.

Separation Agreements – All finances, asset division and child contact and care arrangements must be agreed upon before a divorce decree can be granted. The majority of agreements are done by way of a Separation Agreement, in which both parties have agreed upon the details. The Separation is a legally binding document, and is the preferred option to agreeing finances, etc. Only around 3% of disputes reach the courtroom.