I offer a professional approach combined with an empathetic understanding
of each person’s own unique situation, backed up by wide experience.
I will explain
• the legal ground rules
• the options available
• in cases where there is actual or possible physical or emotional abuse, what steps may be taken to protect you from its effects and
• the various different ways to solve the questions you are faced with
Whether you are living separately while being married (or in a civil partnership) is a matter of fact. You do not have to do anything in particular to be legally separated, though there are things that might need to be sorted in the meantime.
While a couple is still married but are living separately, maintenance (aliment) may need to be paid by one partner to the other. Arrangements may need to be made for supporting any children financially and emotionally.
Though some are content to have reached this stage, many who do not want to move on to divorce do want a final settlement money and property matters. I am able to help you seek an agreement with your partner about how to do this. See the section below about this.
The legal grounds for divorce in Scotland are:
- separation for one year, where both spouses want it
- separation for two years, if only one wants it and the other does not
- where one party has behaved so unreasonably to the other that they
cannot be expected to carry on living as a spouse with the offender
- where one partner has committed adultery while married
Most divorces in Scotland are sought on one or other of the separation-based grounds.
Divorce, though, cannot happen unless a court is satisfied that the family’s finances have been dealt with fairly according to the rules laid down by the law. These issues are nearly always dealt with by some sort of negotiated process leading to a written agreement about what is to happen to the couple’s property (a separation agreement). After a separation agreement has been then divorce often follows with the consent of both parties.
I will work with you to assess your needs and wishes, and I will explain what may be seen as fair according to the legal rules. We can then set out a strategy together for getting to the sort of settlement that suits you, either as part of a negotiated process or by other means.
What can you do to help yourself?
**Here is an Excel sheet that may help you to gather the rough value of the property and of the debts. The information may well need to be refined as time goes on, so it need not be exact at the beginning.