After JudgeDredd's useful English procedural guide, a Scottish one might be in order.

Note to MOD - I will start with simplified divorce and if anyone with any time wants to add to it feel free to alter the subject heading.

The usual proviso applies:-

There are of course potential problems in discussing legal matters, and please note that the forum is only a discussion area, NOT a consultation medium. We will hopefully have qualified moderators but their role may be limited to removing anything that is clearly duff advice, rather than active contribution. Time will tell.

Therefore do not take anything written in this forum as true legal advice. "I read it in the legal forum on ARRSE" is definitely not going to stand up in court.

The moderators won't be able to vet everything so posts may contain out-of-date information or just plain rubbish.

Finally if a poster claims to be a leading lawyer and have the definitive answer, bear in mind that this is an anonymous site and he could in reality be a 15 year old Brazilian girl called Paddy.

In Scotland normally FINANCIAL CLAIMS FALL AFTER DIVORCE, I.e. generally are made prior to / during the divorce. This means that if you divorce your spouse without making a financial claim against them, you will probably have lost the opportunity to do so on divorce being granted.

Ground for Divorce:-
That the marriage has broken down irretrievably and that there is no prospect of a reconciliation.

As proved by at least one of :-
a) One year's separation with the consent of the other spouse
b) Two year's separation without the consent of the other spouse
c) Unreasonable Behaviour (of the Defender)
d) Adultery

Simplified or Standard Divorce

This is simple on the basis that there are no financial claims by either party nor any children under the age of 16 years.

This is normally done in the local sheriff court, however can be dealt with in the Court of Session.

The claim is made by either a form SPA (one year with consent) or form SPB (two year's separation and no requirement for consent).
The forms are completed and an affidavit (sworn statement) which is attached to the form must be either sworn in the presence of a Notary Public (most solicitors) or a Justice of the Peace.
The forms are then handed into court with a court fee and the court clerk will arrange for serving of the papers and processing them.
The papers are served on the opponent who has either 21 days or 42 days to oppose the divorce (depending on where they stay). The total time for processing the divorce is likely to be a few months, particularly as smaller courts may only process the decrees once per month

There is no requirement to use a solicitor, however legal aid under the Legal Advice & Assistance scheme is available. Many solicitors will carry out the paperwork for a fixed fee, which should be clarified in advance.

Forms can be obtained free of charge in the local sheriff court or via:


The fee as of November 2008 is £90, however a fee exemption form can be completed e.g for people on Income Support, Tax Credits and is further down the forms link under "Fee Exemption"
It's worth noting that, in Scotland, a couple can live under the same roof, but still be classed as separated under the eyes of the law. They would need to have separate sleeping arrangements though.

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