A divorce may be simpler & cheaper than you think. If you have been separated from your partner for over a year the simplified divorce procedure may an option.
As we approach Christmas and the end of 2014, divorce is probably the last thing on most people’s minds. For some people, however, the new year may be an opportunity for a fresh start and a chance to move on from past relationships.
Often couples separate and, for a number of reasons, choose not to divorce immediately thereafter. When it does enter into consideration there can be concerns about the cost and the legal process. It is often the first dealing that the couple have had with a court and can, understandably, be a daunting process.
Obtaining a divorce may, however, be simpler and cheaper than you think. If you have been separated from your partner for over a year, you may be able to use the simplified divorce procedure.
What is the simplified divorce procedure?
The simplified procedure is a straightforward, cheap way in which couples can divorce or dissolve a civil partnership. It is completed using ready-made forms which one or both parties fill in, depending on the circumstances.
Am I eligible to use the simplified procedure?
The three key factors which determine whether you can use the simplified procedure are:
- There must be no children of the marriage/civil partnership under the age of 16 years; and
- There must be no financial matters to sort out between you; and
- You must have either been separated for a period of one year and both be willing to consent to the divorce/dissolution or have been separated for two years, in which case the party seeking the divorce/dissolution does not need the other party’s consent.*
There are also residence requirements which require you or your spouse to be habitually resident or domiciled in Scotland. Contact a solicitor or the court if you think that this could be an issue.
Will I need to go to court?
You will not need to go to court if you use the simplified procedure. You will, however, need to see a Notary Public or Justice of the Peace in order to have the affidavit at the end of the form “sworn”. Most solicitors are Notary Publics (you can contact us here if you need an affidavit sworn) or you can arrange an appointment with a Justice of the Peace at your local court.
If you want to find out more about the simplified divorce procedure, contact us here. If you are not eligible to use the simplified divorce procedure, we will be happy to discuss your options and how to manage your divorce in the most cost-effective, stress-free way.
* The one alternative to the separation requirements (under which the couple will still be eligible to use the simplified procedure) is if one of the parties to the marriage or civil partnership has been issued with an interim gender recognition certificate after the marriage/civil partnership.