Often there is little time to prepare for all the decisions which need to be taken. We take a flexible approach to handling your case, which does not always mean proceeding to court. We will ensure you are properly advised in order that you can make informed decisions. We shall strive to bring your case to an efficient, and if possible, amicable settlement. Where settlement is possible through negotiation, a separation agreement will be entered into which will formally outline the division of your assets, and, each party’s obligations to the other and to any children of the relationship.
A Separation Agreement is tailored to each individual client's needs and requirements, and will normally include clauses in respect of the family home, any division of pensions, payment of aliment and child maintenance and any arrangements for residence of and contact with children. Reaching such an agreement simplifies any divorce action, as the majority of divorce applications ultimately proceed as undefended and without the necessity for parties to attend Court in person.
It is imperative that spouses take advice to assist them in identifying the extent of the matrimonial estate. Common myths include the notion that assets in the name of one or other party belong to them to the exclusion of the other; that a spouse's behaviour dictates the extent of the share of the matrimonial estate they deserve; or that financial matters can be resolved after divorce. On the contrary, the matrimonial estate comprises all assets and liabilities accrued during the period of the marriage; divorce procedure in Scotland is based on a no fault principle; and, parties are entitled to "fair sharing" of the matrimonial estate notwithstanding the apportionment of blame for the breakdown of the relationship. In England, divorce is a two stage process with a Decree Nisi followed by a resolution of financial matters and ultimately a Decree Absolute. This is NOT the case in Scotland. In Scotland, divorce is a one stage process. The granting of Decree of Divorce extinguishes the right to claim financial provision, unless previously agreed or Ordered, as part of the divorce, by the Court. If in doubt take advice. To fail to do so, may be a costly mistake.