Family Law

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We have a wealth of experience in all family law matters. Ms Anderson is accredited as a specialist in family law by the Law Society of Scotland and sits as Chairperson on the Committee of the Family Law Association.

We provide expert advice and representation in all aspects of family law, including the following:

In Scotland the basis for divorce is that your marriage has irretrievably broken down and there is no prospect of reconciliation. This can be established on the basis that either you have been separated from your spouse for a period of two years, one year and your spouse consents, the unreasonable behaviour of your spouse or adultery by your spouse.

In order to obtain a divorce in Scotland you are required to make an application to the court. The procedure will be dependent upon your own particular circumstances including whether or not you have any children under the age of 16 years. We are on hand to provide advice in regard to the correct procedure and to provide information on the procedure and the costs involved as matters progress.

We have a wealth of experience in preparing formal separation agreements for clients in respect to financial issues following upon the breakdown of your marriage and also in regard to arrangements for the care of children. We are able to provide a block fee estimate for a separation agreement in certain circumstances. If matters are disputed we would discuss the costs with you in regard to progressing work towards a separation agreement. Once the terms of a separation agreement are concluded, the agreement is signed by both parties and registered in the Books of Council and Session.

In terms of the Family Law (Scotland) Act, spouses are entitled to a fair sharing of the matrimonial property held at the date of separation. Fair sharing is presumed to be equal sharing unless there are special circumstances. Ms Anderson is an accredited expert and able to provide to you detailed advice in regard to division of the matrimonial property including heritable property, pension sharing and division of savings. There can often be complex arguments with regards to for example source of funds or property that was inherited and Ms Anderson has a proven track record of success for her clients whilst progressing complex financial provision cases through the courts.

The Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 brought in provision for cohabitants to make a claim where their cohabitation ends either by way of separation or the death of one cohabitant. There are strict time limits in regard to making a claim whereby in the event of a death of a cohabitant, the claim must be made within six months of the death and in the event of separation the claim must be made within 12 months of the date of separation. The time limit relates to the claim being raised at court and served on the other party and therefore it is very important to seek legal advice as soon as possible after the cohabitation ends.

The law in regard to rights for cohabitation is very different from the law in regard to rights for spouses upon separation or divorce. Ms Anderson has a wealth of experience in regard to providing advice and representation for cohabitants both in terms of resolving matters by way of a formal cohabitation agreement or in terms of progressing matters through the courts.

It is also advisable to consider a Cohabitation Agreement where you are moving in with your new partner. This is particularly prudent where you are purchasing a property in joint names and wish to consider protecting for example a deposit or advice in regard to preventing a claim by either cohabitant at the end of the cohabitation to avoid complex legal proceedings. Ms Anderson is happy to discuss the various issues with you on the basis of a free initial consultation, and it may be that you do not require to enter into a Cohabitation Agreement, but we are happy to provide an assurance and quality advice as to the application of the law in order that you can make an informed decision.

It is often the case that people now get married when they already have a family and already have assets. They may be entering into a second marriage and wish to give consideration to how to protect assets acquired before the marriage and also to protect potential inheritance for their children. Ms Anderson can provide full advice as to the potential terms of a Pre-Nuptial Agreement and how this can assist. Matters are dealt with on a sensitive basis with a view to an agreed resolution to allow the client to make an informed choice. There is also scope for a Post-Nuptial Agreement to be entered into which is often used in the situation where for example one spouse enters into a business arrangement such as a limited company or partnership and wishes to protect the other partners or business owners from a potential claim on the basis asset in the event of divorce. A Post-Nuptial Agreement can also be entered into for the same purpose of a Pre-Nuptial Agreement but after the parties are married.

In terms of the Family Law (Scotland) Act, spouses are legally obliged to aliment each other. An assessment of whether or not aliment is appropriate is dependent upon the needs and resources of the parties. Aliment is a monthly payment prior to parties being divorced. There is also an obligation on parents to aliment a child and this is particularly relevant where the child is between the age of 18 – 25 and in full time education such as at university. Ms Anderson is able to provide sensitive expert advice in respect to the issue of child aliment and represent the client to ideally achieve an amicable agreement in respect to the payment of aliment by parents.

In the event that advice, representation and court measures are necessary to protect a person from abuse, we are experienced and able to provide sensitive and emergency representation to obtain if required court orders to protect the safety and welfare for a person who has been subject to abuse. Court orders include a non-molestation interdict with a power of arrest attached, a non-harassment order and exclusion orders.

Book a Free Consultaion

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Lesley Anderson Law offers a free initial consultation to prospective clients across Scotland, with no obligation to engage our services further. Get in touch to find out more.