Often clients tell us that they want to get divorced quickly so that they can move on with their lives. For some divorcing couples, they will be able to use the simplified divorce procedure. But what is this? The simplified divorce procedure involves completing the necessary form and satisfying the sheriff court that you and your spouse meet the criteria for a simplified divorce.
The criteria for a simplified divorce is as follows:
- You are applying for divorce because of the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage
- You have been separated for one year and your spouse consents to the divorce, or you have been separated for two years (in which case your spouse does not have to consent)
- There are no children of the marriage under the age of 16
- There are no outstanding financial matters
- Neither you nor your spouse suffers from mental illness, personality disorder or learning disability
- There are no other court proceedings under way which might result in the end of your marriage
- You and/or your spouse are habitually resident in Scotland. If you and/or your spouse are not habitually resident in Scotland, then you can still apply for a simplified divorce if you and/or your spouse are domiciled in Scotland
- You or your spouse must have lived at the address on the form for 40 days before you sign the application form
The simplified divorce form also requires you to sign an affidavit. This is a sworn statement that is signed in front of a notary public verifying that the information in the form is true and correct. Our family law solicitors are notaries so the affidavit can be completed in our offices.
Once the application goes to the court it has to be intimated by the sheriff clerk to your spouse, and a period of 21 days must elapse before the court can grant the decree of divorce. In the case of a divorce based on separation of more than two years without consent, if the other spouse makes a financial claim or a claim then the simplified divorce cannot proceed.
There are also court fees to pay. The application for a simplified divorce is £107. If you are in receipt of certain state benefits then you may be exempt from this fee.
If you would like further information on simplified divorce or any other family law matter, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Family Law Department.