Divorce and family law
We combine specialist, practical advice with a responsive, supportive and discrete service.
We take the time to understand your aims then tailor our approach around you to deliver the best possible outcome.
We provide advice and support in the following areas:
- Separation for married and unmarried couples
- Divorce, including international divorce
- Financial claims
- Child law and parenting issues
- Child support
- Same sex marriage and civil partnership
- Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
- Cohabitation agreements
We work with clients all over Scotland and with people based in England or overseas, including a significant number of expatriates. You can choose to meet at our Edinburgh, Glasgow or Perth office.
If you, or your spouse, are a business owner, professional, entrepreneur, farmer, land owner or have a valuable pension we understand that specific issues arise from these scenarios. We draw on the expertise of our firm’s private client, tax, corporate and land and rural teams to ensure you have a family lawyer who truly understands your circumstances, so you can achieve the best outcome.
Divorce and Separation
Relationships and marriages end for a variety of reasons and we’re here to support and guide you through the process. We’ll help you arrange your finances, divide or retain your assets and, if required, help you decide how you’ll care for your children after divorce.
It might be that you’re able to reach agreement with your spouse or partner directly and only need some direction and a light touch from us. However, if agreement isn’t immediately possible then there are different ways to help come to a resolution.
Some of these include:
- Negotiation between solicitors
- Collaborative law
- Family law arbitration
Whatever your circumstances, we can provide you with information and guidance about the options that may be suitable for you.
If your spouse or partner has raised a court action, or if you need to ask the court to assist, we can work with you and represent you in court.
All of our services are available to married and unmarried couples, same sex couples and opposite sex couples.
Clients come to us with important and challenging questions relating to child law and parenting issues.
We can provide legal advice and support with:
- Arrangements for children following separation/divorce, including where a parent is suffering from mental health problems, drug or alcohol abuse or is attempting to alienate the child from the other parent or wider family.
- Disputes about a child’s name, what school they’ll attend, religious upbringing or what medical treatment they receive.
- Moving children within Scotland, to England and abroad (often called relocation).
- Helping parents, grandparents or others secure contact (access) with a child.
- Surrogacy, both in the UK and abroad.
- Adoption, including adoption by a step parent.
- International child abduction, when one parent removes a child from Scotland, or takes them to Scotland, without the other parent’s consent.
Prenuptial agreements and cohabitation agreements
Scotland has a long history of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. It’s common for one or both partners to ask to protect an asset or assets in the event of a future separation. Whether you’ve been married before and want to protect your assets for your children, built up assets before meeting your partner or have been gifted money or assets from your family, we can prepare a contract that suits your circumstances. Assets can be in the form of a pension, investment, business or even a house.
Following the introduction of legal rights for unmarried couples who live together, we also prepare contracts for those moving in together setting out how their finances are to be dealt with if they separate. The most common situation is a couple contributing unequal amounts to the purchase price of a house, but we can also prepare contracts to help in other circumstances.
Family Law FAQs
Can the same solicitor act for both of us?
The Law Society of Scotland prevents any solicitor for acting for both parties in a family law situation. That’s because what’s best for one person might not be best for the other, leading to a conflict of interest.
How much do you charge?
Our fees vary from person to person depending on the nature of the work involved. We don’t think it’s fair to charge a uniform fee as the people who instruct us don’t all need the same level of advice and input. We’ll always offer a fixed or capped fee for our first meeting and we’ll tell you what that is before you commit to meeting us.
How long will it take to secure a divorce?
This varies substantially from one couple to the next and will depend on how complicated your situation is.
Do we have to go to Court?
The vast majority of people we work with don’t need to attend court. For those who can reach agreement with their spouse, directly or with our help or the help of a mediator or similar, then an application for divorce involves paperwork only.
Sometimes it’s necessary to involve the court, for example if we cannot reach agreement with the other party or we need to do so to protect you or your children.
What if we live abroad or we are foreign nationals?
We specialise in Scots family law and so we cannot provide advice about family law in England or any other country. What we can do is tell you whether or not Scots law applies, help you identify if there’s an international legal question and put you in touch with a recommended family lawyer in another country (if required). When it comes to international families the key rule is to move quickly and to ensure you seek advice as the consequences can be serious and irredeemable.