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Getting divorced in Scotland: what happens with the finances?

13th February 2018

If you are getting divorced in Scotland, all of the financial matters must be dealt with before you divorce. Divorce in Scotland ends the ability of either spouse to make any further financial claims against the other (aside from maintenance in respect of children).  That’s why it’s important to seek expert legal advice early on if you are separating. So, how are the financial matters on divorce dealt with in Scotland?

  1. Firstly, the date of separation needs to be identified. This is known as the “relevant date”.  It’s crucial that this date is identified as this is the date at which all matrimonial assets are valued.
  2. The extent of the matrimonial assets (and liabilities) should then be identified as at the relevant date. Matrimonial assets are all assets built up by either spouse during the marriage whether in joint names or in their respective sole names.  However, there are some exceptions to this – any gifts or inheritance received by either party and any assets owned by either of them prior to the marriage (aside from the matrimonial home) are not considered to be matrimonial assets.
  3. Once the date of separation and the matrimonial assets and liabilities have been identified, all of matrimonial assets and liabilities should be valued as at that date.
  4. Once valuations have been obtained, careful consideration needs to be given as to how the assets are to be divided. The law in Scotland provides that all matrimonial assets should be divided fairly; the default position is very much a 50/50 split unless certain special circumstances apply.
  5. If parties can agree on a division of the assets then this should be detailed in a Separation Agreement. Once a Separation Agreement has been signed the parties can look at proceeding to get divorced.  If the parties cannot reach an agreement on the financial matters then a court may need to make a decision for them.

It’s very important to seek legal advice if you have separated and are considering divorce.  The family law team at Morisons are expert divorce lawyers.  For more information please contact a member of our team on 0131 226 6541 or 0141 332 5666.

*The content of this webpage is for information only and is not intended to be interpreted as legal advice.

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Rachel Macdonald - Divorce & Family law solicitor
 

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