What is a Divorce and a Dissolution of a Civil Partnership? 

Divorce is the legal process through which a married couple formally ends their marriage. It involves the termination of the marital relationship, including the legal, financial, and emotional ties that exist between spouses. A divorce is usually the final step to be taken when a couple separates.  The first step is for a separating couple to resolve the financial issues arising from their separation, together with any issues involving children of the relationship. That is usually done by way of a separation agreement.

In a divorce, a court issues a divorce decree, which officially dissolves the marriage, allowing both parties to remarry if they wish. If parties are unable to reach agreement in relation to financial issues, or issues involving children, then the Court can be asked to make orders in relation to these issues as part of a divorce action.  Our experienced family law solicitors will advise at all stages in relation to the best way forward. 

The dissolution of a civil partnership is a legal procedure similar to divorce but specifically designed for same-sex couples or couples who have entered into a civil partnership. It is the formal process of ending a civil partnership, providing a legal framework for the separation of assets, financial matters, and any child-related issues. Once a civil partnership is dissolved, both parties are free to enter into new civil partnerships or marry others. Like divorce, the dissolution process may involve negotiations, court proceedings, and the issuance of a final order by the court.

Our Expertise

Our experienced family law team specialises in divorce and dissolution cases, ensuring that your rights and interests are protected. We handle a wide range of issues related to divorce and dissolution, including:

  • Grounds for Divorce/Dissolution: Explaining the legal reasons for divorce or dissolution, whether it's based on adultery, unreasonable behaviour, separation for more than one year (with consent of the other spouse/civil; partner), or more that two years (when consent is not required).
  • Financial Arrangements & Settlements: Helping you navigate the complex process of dividing assets, property, and finances, ensuring a fair and equitable outcome.
  • Child Contact and Maintenance: Advocating for the best interests of your children and ensuring their well-being is a top priority.
  • Spousal Support (Aliment): Calculating and negotiating spousal support when necessary.
  • Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements: Drafting agreements to protect your assets and interests before or after marriage or civil partnership.

Our Approach

At Drummond Miller, we take a personalised and compassionate approach to divorce and dissolution cases. We understand that every situation is unique, and we tailor our services to meet your specific needs and circumstances. Our dedicated legal team will:

  • Listen Actively: We take the time to understand your concerns and objectives, providing you with the support and guidance you need during this challenging time.
  • Provide Clarity: We explain complex legal terms and processes in plain language, ensuring you are fully informed at every step.
  • Negotiate Amicably: Whenever possible, we aim for amicable solutions through negotiation or mediation, reducing stress and legal costs.
  • Advocate Vigorously: If litigation becomes necessary, our experienced litigators will vigorously represent your interests in court.

Contact our Experienced Divorce Lawyers

The process of getting divorced can seem daunting and complicated. When you're looking for information about this process, you need a family law firm you can trust, who will treat you with compassion and complete confidentiality. Our specialists in family law have the experience, knowledge and sensitivity to support and guide you through this difficult time.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you're considering divorce/dissolving a civil parternship, you'll probably find yourself with a number of questions - about children, finances, property, the cost and length of the process, and more. Thanks to our years of experience as one of Scotland's leading family law firms, we will be able to provide you with clear answers to any questions you might have.

To be divorced/dissolve your civil partnership in Scotland there has to have been irretrievable breakdown of the marriage/civil partnership.  

Irretrievable breakdown of a marriage is evidenced by establishing one of four grounds: unreasonable behaviour, adultery, separation for more than one year (where the other party consents to the divorce) or separation for more than two years and no consent by the other party is required. 

Irretrievable breakdown of a civil partnership is evidenced by establishing one of three grounds: unreasonable behaviour, separation for more than one year (where the other party consents to the divorce) or separation for more than two years and no consent by the other party is required.  

In Scotland, there are two divorce/dissolution procedures, ‘simplified’ and ‘ordinary’.  

If you have been separated for more than one year and the other party agrees to be divorced/the dissolution (or more than two years and no consent is required), there are no children under the age of 16, and you and the other party have come to an agreement about the division of any assets and debts, you can follow the simplified procedure. 

Otherwise, you will have to use the ordinary procedure. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the action may proceed without being defended by the other party. In the event that the action is defended, our team are experienced and confident litigators, who work hard to secure the best outcome for our clients in the most cost-efficient way. 

In most cases, Drummond Miller can offer fixed fees for simplified divorces/dissolutions, and undefended ordinary divorces/dissolutions raised on the grounds of one or two years’ separation.  

If a defended court action is necessary then legal fees will vary depending on the amount of work undertaken, but we will always strive to bring your case to a satisfactory conclusion as quickly as possible, minimising cost to you. 

Financial provision on separation and divorce/dissolution is governed by the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985. This sets out principles which provide guidance in working out what each spouse is entitled to. Each case is approached based on its own facts and circumstances. 

  1. The starting point is that each party is entitled to a fair division of the net value of matrimonial property. Dividing fairly usually, but not always, means equally. Matrimonial property is defined as all assets (and debts) acquired during the marriage and before the date of separation, excluding gifts from third parties, inheritances, or items owned prior to the marriage (other than a home purchased prior to marriage for use as a family home).
  2. Any economic advantage or disadvantage suffered by either party must be taken into account. This includes, for example, one partner giving up work to raise children.
  3. The costs associated with raising any children under 16 must be shared fairly.
  4. If one partner has been financially dependent on the other, they can be awarded financial provision to enable them to adjust, usually for a maximum of 3 years.
  5. If one partner will suffer serious financial hardship, financial provision to relieve them of hardship can be made over a reasonable period.

Get the best legal advice

Choosing Drummond Miller for your family law needs ensures you benefit from our team's expertise, renowned for their successful track record in handling divorce and dissolution cases. We understand the emotional impact of these situations and provide compassionate support throughout.

Our approach is tailored to each individual's unique circumstances, ensuring the best possible outcomes. We prioritise clear communication, keeping you informed at every stage, and offer transparent, cost-effective fee structures to minimise legal expenses. Contact us for a confidential consultation with a Family Law Solicitor to discuss your case and explore your legal options.
We have offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bathgate, Dalkeith and Musselburgh and we will be happy to discuss your situation and options with you. 
We’re here to help you take the next step.
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