FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Because there's more
to family law than divorce.

Our most frequently asked questions

  • How much will my legal fees be?
  • What happens if we have agreed a financial settlement arising out of our separation?
  • Can I buy a separation agreement or prenuptial agreement on the internet?
  • Can I resolve matters arising out of our separation amicably?
  • Do I need to consult a solicitor following separation from my spouse?
  • Can I consult family law solicitor anywhere in the United Kingdom?
  • In Scotland, can you have a prenuptial agreement?
  • Can my partner and I consult with the same solicitor?

We aim to provide cost effective solutions for our clients.

Every case is different as it depends on the complexity of your situation and how quickly matters are resolved. We generally charge our fees on a time spent basis and, at the outset, we will explain our fee structure. For certain types of work we may be able to offer fixed fee packages.

We are always willing to discuss the most cost effective solutions for you and, in certain situations, provide free estimates.

For more information in this respect, please contact a member of the family law team.

The terms of the financial settlement would normally be incorporated into a “Separation Agreement” (which is essentially a contract between you and your spouse). There are various advantages to having a Separation Agreement. To ensure that the Agreement is watertight, it is advisable to have it prepared by a solicitor.

In Scotland, a Separation Agreement is a private contract and is not ratified by a Court.

In Scotland, all the financial matters arising out of the separation and the care arrangements for the children of the marriage require to be resolved prior to divorce being granted. Before proceeding to divorce in Scotland (assuming Scotland has jurisdiction), there would need to be grounds for divorce. Most divorces proceed following two years separation or one year separation if both parties consent to the divorce.

Alternatively, a divorce can be sought sooner if adultery or unreasonable behaviour is cited, but there are certain requirements that have to be met.

There are various websites that sell separation agreements and prenuptial agreements, but people should be aware that many of those websites are not Scottish.

Scots family law is very different from other countries, in particular English family law. Very often, agreements downloaded from the internet can cause more problems than they solve!

A separation agreement or prenuptial agreement can be one of the most important documents that you sign in your life, and you should ensure that it meets certain requirements and includes certain clauses.

We would strongly advise against using standardised agreements as they are not bespoke to your particular situation. If you are intent on using an agreement from the internet then you should seek advice on the terms of the agreement from a family law solicitor in Scotland before signing.

Clients are always hugely relieved when we inform them that the majority of our cases are settled by negotiation without the need to ever go anywhere near a courtroom.

For us, litigation is very much a last resort when it comes to divorce and family law matters. We aim to find cost effective, practical solutions to meet your needs.

There are various methods of alternative dispute resolution now available to separating couples aside from the traditional negotiation, namely Collaboration, mediation and arbitration. We can advise you as to the most suitable method for you.

It is advisable to consult a solicitor so that you can find out what rights and obligations you have following separation.

The solicitor can advise you in relation to the financial matters arising out of the separation and any child related matters. This will help you to feel more informed, and remove some of the uncertainty that is often faced following a separation.

It is important to note that any claim against a former cohabitant in Scotland requires to be made within one year of the date of separation. It is therefore advisable to seek legal advice as soon as possible following separation.

Despite being part of the United Kingdom, when it comes to family law, Scots law differs greatly from English law and Northern Irish law.

Accordingly, if Scots law applies to your situation, then it is essential that you consult a solicitor qualified in Scots law.

If you require advice in relation to which country has jurisdiction in relation to your situation, please contact a member of our family law team.

Yes. They have never been fully tested in the Scottish courts, but the general consensus is that they would be upheld providing certain conditions are met.

Prenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly popular in Scotland. Despite popular belief, they are not just for the rich and the famous. They are for those who wish a degree of certainty in relation to what will happen to certain assets in the event of a future separation.

By having a prenuptial agreement, it is not an acknowledgement that you (or someone else) believes that the marriage is destined to fail. It is a form of financial planning and asset protection. Many view prenuptial agreements akin to an insurance policy – it is hoped that it will not need to be relied upon, but it is in place in case you do.

No. In terms of the Law Society of Scotland professional rules we can only represent one of you. There would otherwise be a conflict of interest.

If you have a question or enquiry then get in touch with our Family Law team

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