We are leading divorce and family lawyers, ranked number one in the independent legal directories Legal 500 and Chambers UK.

With the largest team of divorce lawyers based in Scotland, we provide advice to individuals living in Scotland or overseas from our offices in Aberdeen, EdinburghGlasgow and Inverness.

Because of the number and range of experience of lawyers in our team, we advise individuals from all walks of life – including business and estate owners, professionals and private individuals. In every situation, we provide bespoke advice. We take the time to understand our clients and guide them through the divorce process in the most commercial way possible. We are able to offer fixed fees for certain services.

Our most frequently asked questions:

  • What are the grounds for divorce?

    Most commonly, for a court to grant a decree of divorce, it must be established that the marriage has broken down irretrievably by proving one of the following:

    • That the other spouse has committed adultery (although parties to a same-sex marriage cannot establish irretrievable breakdown by adultery).
    • That the other spouse has behaved in such a way that the applicant spouse cannot reasonably be expected to cohabit with them (unreasonable behaviour).
    • Non-cohabitation for one year or more and that the other spouse consents to the divorce decree being granted.
    • That the spouses have not cohabited for at least two years (with no consent required from the other spouse)

    An action for divorce may also proceed if it is established that an interim gender recognition certificate has been issued to either party to the marriage, however, this is very unusual.

  • How long does it take to get a divorce?

    Whilst a solicitor can help you apply for a divorce, it is only a sheriff or judge who can grant it. The timescale for obtaining a divorce can vary significantly, based on your particular circumstances. The divorce is the final part of the separation process and should only be granted after any child and/or financial matters are resolved. A simplified divorce can be granted within a couple of months but an acrimonious separation with complex financial issues which is litigated can take a number of years to conclude.

    To obtain a divorce, you have to show that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. There are a number of different ways in which that can be done.

    If matters can be dealt with on the basis of your non-cohabitation for one or two years, that is generally regarded as the better approach, as it avoids 'blaming' the other for the breakdown in the relationship and will often give rise to a quicker resolution.

    A helpful summary of the divorce process from start to finish can be found here.

  • What is the process for getting a divorce?

    There are several different processes for getting a divorce. Which process applies to you depends on factors including how long you've been separated, if you have agreed how your finances will be divided and whether you have children under the age of 16. In all cases, you must apply to the court and ask for your divorce to be granted. The two main processes to ask the court to grant your divorce are:

    1. Simplified procedure: This is the most straight forward and cost-effective way to ask the court to grant your divorce. This process doesn’t involve you or your solicitor attending court in person. You can only use this process if you and your spouse have agreed how your finances will be divided and you do not have any children under the age of sixteen.
    2. Sheriff Court - Ordinary procedure: This process is more complicated and therefore more expensive. If you have not agreed on the details of your separation or if you have children under the age of sixteen then you will have to raise an ordinary action before the court will grant your divorce. If your spouse opposes your request for a divorce, then a proof – which is a fully evidentiary hearing – may be required.

    In all cases, the simplest and most cost-effective way forward is to reach an agreement on how your finances will be divided and how your children will be looked after before asking the court to grant your divorce.

  • How much will my divorce cost?

    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 are able to offer fixed fee packages.

      We are always willing to discuss the most cost effective solutions for you and, in certain situations, provide fee estimates. For more information, please get in touch.

    • Can I have an amicable divorce or separation?

      Clients are usually relieved when we inform them that the majority of our cases are settled by negotiation without the need to go 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.

    Read more FAQs

    Our divorce lawyers are at the forefront of solution-oriented and collaborative approaches to divorce and family issues. We focus on constructive resolution, and very much view Court as a last resort.

    We are supported internally by experts from a whole spectrum of legal areas. We are adept at drawing together a team of advisors on issues such as tax, corporate and trust structures, immigration issues, property and privacy.

    We have expertise in complicated financial affairs and advise on complex international and cross-border issues for Scottish and expat families. When necessary, we draw on our strong network of legal firm advisors all over the world to advise our clients who live or who have interests abroad.

    Divorce key highlights icon

    Divorce key highlights

    • Our divorce lawyers are active participants in international family lawyer networks across the world.
    • Shaun George and Lisa Girdwood are individually named as Band 1 ranked lawyers in Chambers and Legal 500.
    • With a team in Inverness we support clients across the Highlands and beyond, including Inverness, Shetland, Orkney, Speyside, the Isle of Skye and the Western Isles.
    • One of the largest practices in Scotland looking after private individuals, we advise on all matters related to the international aspects of our clients' lives - find out more.

    Get in touch with a member of our Family law team 

    Our divorce lawyers, family solicitors and mediators are personable and approachable. Our objective is to resolve matters for you as efficiently as possible, so that we can get the best outcome for you and your family.

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