Scotland—divorce and civil partnership dissolution
Produced in partnership with Sally Nash of Gilson Gray LLP
Scotland—divorce and civil partnership dissolution

The following Family guidance note Produced in partnership with Sally Nash of Gilson Gray LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Scotland—divorce and civil partnership dissolution
  • Grounds for divorce
  • Dissolution of a civil partnership
  • Jurisdictional requirements for raising an action of divorce
  • Jurisdictional requirements for raising an action of dissolution
  • Procedure
  • Differences between Scotland and England and Wales
  • Pending changes and consultations

This Practice Note is impacted by the exit of the UK from the EU on 31 January 2020. This has implications for practitioners, inter alia, when considering which court has jurisdiction. For guidance, see Practice Notes: Brexit and family law and Brexit—implications for Scotland. This Practice Note sets out the current position on divorce and civil partnership dissolution in Scotland.

This Practice Note provides an introduction to divorce and civil partnership dissolution in Scotland. It explains the grounds for divorce or dissolution, ie irretrievable breakdown or the issue of an interim gender recognition certificate, and the facts to be established under the Divorce (Scotland) Act 1976 (D(S)A 1976) and the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (CPA 2004). It also sets out procedural steps to be taken in both the sheriff court and the Court of Session, together with jurisdictional considerations, and highlights differences between Scotland and England and Wales. In Scotland, the party who raises an action is the pursuer, and the other party is the defender. See also Practice Note: Scotland—divorce and civil partnership dissolution—glossary.

For practical guidance on other aspects of family law in Scotland, see Practice Notes: Private children proceedings in Scotland, Financial provision for spouses and civil partners in Scotland and Cohabitant claims in Scotland.

Note that on 30 September 2019, a Bill was tabled to make civil partnerships available for mixed