Quick divorce in Scotland – a guide to Scottish quickie divorces

Divorce in Scotland differs from that in other countries because, here, the courts will refuse you a divorce until such time as you have made arrangements for the children and settled your financial differences.

As a result, Scottish “quickie” divorces, in the sense that the parties are actually divorced immediately after a separation are rare.

Where both parties are agreed on money and children, however, divorces can be fairly swift. If both parties want the divorce, this can happen one year after separation. Where only one party wants the divorce, this can be forced two years after separation. You must, however, have agreed about the money and the children, beforehand, otherwise this doesn’t work as the unwilling party can stall.

For those with no children under 16

Assuming there are no children or any children are over 16, then all that is required is some form filling. Use this link to find the Sheriff Court forms.

Once the form is filled out and signed, for a one year divorce this needs to be signed by your spouse, sworn before a Notary Public or Justice of the Peace and submitted to the court with the fee and your marriage certificate. Divorce follows, usually, within days or, at most, weeks.

Where it is a two year divorce, it is exactly the same except you miss out the step of having your spouse sign it.

More information can be found in the Scottish Sheriff Courts Guide.

For those with children under 16

You can still have a quick divorce (and an inexpensive one), even if there are children under 16, if you use my fixed price service.  Divorces are averaging out at about 55 to 65 days (about two months) where both parties are keen and most of this time is actually just waiting for the court to pronounce judgement after we have lodged all the papers.

You will note that I say “if both parties are keen” because I have found that one of the motivations for using my service is that clients are fed up going to see lawyers and, rather than particularly wanting a swift divorce, they just want a quiet life. Although I am a lawyer, you do not need to come to see me and it can all be done online (apart from the final affidavit), as many of my clients have testified.

I mentioned that, where there are no children under 16, it’s a matter of form filling. Frankly, it’s the same for My Scottish Divorce except that the forms are a little more lengthy, as you provide me with information about the children, for instance, where they live, their education, their interests and suchlike. You will also need a witness. This usually turns out to be a friend or relative who comes to the house where the children live, regularly.

That leads me to a further point. To keep everything simple and make it swift, inexpensive and easy, I only take clients who have the children living with them. This, usually (but not always), means that my client is the mother. Further details for fathers here. Where the children are living roughly equally with both husband and wife, I normally like to give you a 10 minute free diagnostic interview beforehand. The objective of this is to see if I can help you.

Anyone who would like such a no-obligation free interview should complete this form and I shall contact you.

Otherwise just start here.


51 Responses to Quick divorce in Scotland – a guide to Scottish quickie divorces

  1. PHILIP REID says:

    i have been legaly seperated from my wife for more than 5 years i have been wanting a divorce for while now because i have met someone else we stay in westhill aberdeenshire and my kids Aimee 11 and Claire 16 just stay along the road with there mum i see them every day we all get on fine we have sorted all our finances out and we both agree we want to move on and go for a divorce why i havent divorced by now frightened of the cost so could you e-mail me with a price for a divorce hope you can help

    • Bruce de Wert says:

      With regard to your enquiry, you and your wife seem to be ideal candidates for http://www.MyScottishDivorce.co.uk which has a fixed price of £995.

      As you will see from that website, it will be necessary for your wife to be our client. You will need to talk to her about that.

      We are finding that, most of the time, the wife is the client and the husband pays. You can start the ball rolling at this page.

      As soon as you pay the first instalment, an e-mail will be sent to your wife with logon credentials and she can start completing the forms, online.

      The whole system is very easy for clients to deal with and I suggest that you forward this e-mail to her and ask her to look at the feedback page where previous clients have commented on that issue.

      All the best.

      Bruce de Wert

  2. mhairi henderson says:

    i have been legally separated from my husband for 8 years and we have a 13 year old daughter who lives with me but sees her dad at the weekends and holidays there is no animosity between us I am just looking to see how much a divorce would cost me

    • Bruce de Wert says:

      Many thanks for your query.

      You seem ideal for my system.

      Because my system is automated, I’m able to offer a fixed price Scottish divorce. The all in price is £995 and there are no hidden extras.

      If you would like to take up the offer, go to http://www.MyScottishDivorce.co.uk and to the payment page where you (or your husband) can start the process.

      As soon as the first instalment is paid, you will receive login credentials and can start the process. As you will see from the feedback pages, my clients find it very easy.

      Bruce de Wert

  3. Wilma lindsay says:

    I have been separated. From my husband for 14 years my children are adults and. No. Money involved. How much would it cost me for a divorce my ex agrees

  4. hi there ,
    i have been seperated from my wife since 1992 and have not divorced i am currently living with a partner and have been for almost 4years now but she can’t settle knowing that i am still technically married how quick can i get a divorce and how much would it cost me? as i have no clue of all the ins and outs of this i would appreciate your help on this

  5. annemarie mac askill says:

    hi my patrner has been seperated from his wife for 4 years now. His youngest daughter is 16 and has decided to continue on in school.she lives with her mum but regulary comes to stay with her dad.My question is from my partner,Can he divorce and under what grounds,there are no financila ties between them and how much and how quick can this be done.
    thank you in advance

  6. aynsley says:

    hi there just wondering me and my partner are engaged to be married the problem is he still needs to be divorced he got legally separated on april 2012 his daughter is now an adult there is also no finances involved between them could you tell me what the cost would be for you to do the divorce, we would love to get married next year but were told it could take at least 2 years for a divorce.

    many thanks

  7. Lynn Ware says:

    Hi there, just wondering what will happen if my husband does not reply to the petition for divorce? I have taken the DIY route as we have no children under 16, no property and no money!! We will have been apart for 4 years in November this year. Also, as we have been apart for this long, do I actually need his consent? Many thanks.

  8. ijaz says:

    Hi I have separated from my wife 2and half years.she filed divorced in sherif court I reciecieved copy of that form from court.but I have not reply because I am agree for divorce.I recieved that letter on Dec 2011.after that I havenot recieve any thing from court .I have no child…acually I want to know ..I am divorced or not .now I m in londo. And want marry again with someone but I m not sure that I’m divorced or not ..
    Plz guide me thanks

    • It sounds like you have changed your address. As a result, any documents issued by the court will not have been received by you.

      I suggest that you contact the Sheriff court concerned and ask them what happened.

      I hope that you have the piece of paper you received from the court because that will have contained a reference number. It will make life easy for the court officers if you can quote that.

      All the best.

      Bruce de Wert

      I offer a low-cost alternative to the traditional divorce for those who have children under 16 at MyScottishDivorce

  9. ali says:


    I have been married for 32 years no children under 16. My husband was in the armed forces for 27 years and has a forces pension, as well as a company pension. As I moved around with him I never built up a pension pot and in fact am in relatively lowly paid work in comparison to him. Am I entitled to any pension or spousal support?


    • Yes, undoubtedly you would be entitled to share in his pension as part of a separation agreement or divorce.

      Forces pensions are very valuable (as are any government backed pensions) as they are of the, increasingly rare, final salary type.

      Make sure that you use a very skilled solicitor and listen to his or her advice about the valuation of such a pension. It might be worthwhile having a specific valuation carried out if you are not going to split the pension. These are complicated areas and I am afraid that there is no substitute for (expensive) expert advice both from your solicitor and, very probably, from a pensions expert. Failure to deal with this property can be even more expensive in the long term.

      Bruce de Wert

      I offer and inexpensive, easy and cooperative divorce for those who have children under 16 and have agreed the terms of their separation at MyScottishDivorce.

  10. Maureen says:

    I have been separated from my husband for 5 years now. He left the marital home after 27yrs of marriage. our children are all adults. involved. I do know that of the 27 yrs we were married he was saving £25 per week in a family savings fund with his own brothers and sisters, obviously for the years that we were married he would not have been able to do this saving if there were not two wages going into the home. My problem is I do not know where the savings are and apparently they (his family) have shares portfolios..I know I am entitled to some of the money but how do I find out where it is if he wont tell me??

    • A brief calculation indicates but even without interests that he will have saved about £35,000.

      You need to see a solicitor and as part of the process of gathering information, your solicitor will write to your husband and ask him or his solicitor to disclose his assets.

      In the event that he fails to disclose this particular asset, a court has the power to force him.

      Bruce de Wert
      I offer an inexpensive and quick divorce process for those with children under 16 at http://www.MyScottishDivorce.co.uk

  11. Lorna Curran says:

    Hi I have been separated from my husband for nearly two years, we have agreed that I will have main custody of our 7 yr old daughter with him having alternate w/e’s and holidays. The marital home is in my name only and he has agreed to walk away with no claim on it and all other finances have been agreed to. What would be the next step for the quickest and cheapest divorce.

  12. Teresa Turnbull says:

    My fiance has been separated from his wife for over 5 years now. Although not amicable at the time, they now communicate easily enough for the sake of the children and are both in new realtionships with new children. They have 2 children between them, a 16 yr old girl who stays with her mother and a 13 yr old boy who stays with his father but they come and go as they please between both households. There are no financial ties or property between them. His “ex wife” did start the process a few years ago but stopped it when she was only granted legal aid after the first £2000 was paid by her. The cost has been what’s stopped him filing sooner. How much would a divorce be likely to cost?


    • On the assumption that there are no arguments regarding money or children between them and they are prepared to co-operate in obtaining a divorce, the price is fixed at £995.

      It is very quick and it is very simple. I am averaging about 55 to 65 days before divorce.

      If you have not yet looked at the reviews of former clients, they are found here.

      What happens next depends on who has the children.

      Whoever has the 13-year-old the most will need to be my client but they will need to be a witness who can speak to the arrangements in both houses. Whoever is paying should go to the website and if not the person with the children, they must insert the details of their spouse.

      As soon as the first instalment is paid, this system will send login credentials and allow access to the system.

      Who does what is shown here.

      After that, as you will see from the reviews, it works like clockwork.

      If you are still unclear, telephone my office and ask for a 15 minute free diagnostic interview and we can discuss it further.

      Bruce G. de Wert, Solicitor

      +44 (0)1955 606060

  13. Adam smith says:

    Hi. My wife commit adultary and she accepted as well and I want to divorse her ASAP and she agreed to it how quick can I get divorse and there is no money or children involed and we both are agreed to it

  14. Sam says:

    Hi Bruce, My wife and I have been separated just over 2 years now. I would like a divorce, as I want to move on. But I’m not sure of her whereabouts! We don’t have children and I don’t have any savings or property I was wondering if I can go ahead with DIY? Can she claim for any money and could she object to the divorce?
    Many thanks

  15. Nikki says:

    Hello, my husband and I want to divorce and our son turns 16 in June, can we start the ball rolling now or do we need to wait until he is physically 16? We have lived apart for more than one year. Thank you for your help.

    • In the sense that you can download the forms and get them completed just now, yes, but you will not be able to sign , date and submit them until he is 16.

      I trust this answers your question.

      Bruce de Wert

      I offer a swift, inexpensive divorce to those with children under 16 who have agreed all the issues between them. Please find this at http://www.MyScottishDivorce.co.uk

  16. Tommy says:

    My partner has been separated from his wife for 8 years. She has agreed to a divorce however is demanding a lump sum otherwise states she will go after his pension. They both have good pensions and prob not much in it to share. He has offered a lump sum but she increases the amount she wants every time they seem to reach agreement. He has a daughter who is 16 yrs this year. Could he get a divorce easily when she reaches 16 or will he need to go to court re the pension issue beofre a divorce will be agreed by court?

    • I am afraid that the fact that the child is over 16 will not affect the need to agree or get the court to decide on the issue of the pension.

      A quickie divorce is only available to those who have agreed everything.

      Bruce de Wert

      Disclaimer: A blog is not legal advice. You should check your personal circumstances with a solicitor as small details can make a difference!

  17. Sarah Holton says:

    I have been separated for approx 5-6yrs I married in England in 2000 but moved to Aberdeen in 2009, I have had no contact since we parted and I have no known information on where he is. Any information would be beneficial on what I do from here or if I need to apply through the English courts

    • Since you live in Scotland, the Scottish courts have jurisdiction to try your case.

      First of all make an effort to trace him. There are tracing agents who work on a no trace no fee basis

      If you really cannot find him, there is a process whereby the courts can do with that problem.

      If all you want is a divorce, that is good enough but if you need to get money or property from him,that is another matter entirely!

      Bruce de Wert
      Disclaimer: A blog is not legal advice. You should check your personal circumstances with a solicitor as small details can make a difference!

  18. I have been legally separated now for 19 months So far I have been at four options hearings I am now representing myself with the help of a Mackenzie Friend (retired lawyer)as I do not qualify for legal aid. This situation has been ongoing because he will not make a financial agreement with me. The debts are piling up for Council tax and mortgage for our second property because he did not tell me that it was not being paid for just over a year. I now have a pre proof date and proof dates (second dates) He stopped working shortly after we separated so that he would not have to pay maintenance for me. Given that he took me to court for divorce can he keep delaying this Or will the court make a decision for me to finish it. Thank you

    • It is impossible to answer such a question. It is very sad that you do not qualify for Legal Aid but there are so many variables in a court action that I am afraid a blog is not the place for this question.

      I rather suspect the Sheriff hopes that you will come to an agreement. All you can do is to ask the Sheriff to stop giving him more time.

      Bruce de Wert

  19. Lisa says:

    My partner has been separated for over 5 years and there are no children. A separation agreement is in play and has been for 4years approx.

    The ex wife requested an additional sum of money 4years ago but nothing was done by either party. Can we still go for a simple quick divorce?


  20. Lisa says:


    My partner has been separated for over 5 years now and a separation agreement is currently in place. There are no children.

    The ex wife 4years ago wrote to my partner through her Solicitor and requested a sum of money, however, nothing was ever done and no further correspondence was made by either party,

    He now wishes to go for a DIY divorce? Can we do this>

    Any advice is much appreciated.



    • He can but I do rather suspect that she will still ask for some money. Perhaps she is entitled to it.

      He should contact her first because, otherwise, he may well waste his money for the court fee.

      Once he has dealt with her objections, then the divorce can go through very quickly, indeed.

      Bruce de Wert

      I offer a discreet, inexpensive and swift Scots divorce for those with children under 16 at http://www.MyScottishDivorce.co.uk

      Disclaimer: A blog is not legal advice. You should check your personal circumstances with a solicitor as small details can make a difference!

  21. Lucy says:

    I am my late husbands executor and sole beneficiary, he has 2 children in their 40’s from a previous marriage. The house title has a survivorship clause, other assets are a pension which is now payable to me for another 8 years then it stops, a joint current account and an inheritance that he didn’t live long enough to get. What am I entitled to under scots law and what would his children be entitled to? Is it my responsibility to inform the children that they are entitled to something?

    • You do not say whether there is a will.

      If there is a will, that will require to be interpreted.

      If there is no will, the children are entitled to legal rights.

      You are not required to inform them, as executor, but it might well be in your best interest to do so as it is a claim you cannot avoid if they make it. It would be unfortunate if they make that claim years from now when you do not have the money.

      Bruce de Wert

      The answering of a post does not constitute a solicitor/client relationship and you would be well to seek specific legal advice on the particular circumstances.

      I offer a fixed price,inexpensive and swift Will service at http://www.MyScottishWill.co.uk

  22. William Gearing says:

    This should be a tricky one for you. My wife and I are both born and breed U.S. citizens. We got married in Forres, Scotland on August 4, 2006. Then also got married back here in the U.S. two weeks later. We have not been back to Scotland nor have any intentions of living there. We are now in the process of a divorce and that should be completed in the next 3-4 months. There are no children or property involved. Would Scotland accept the US divorce and grant a divorce there?
    Thanks, Bill Gearing

    • Sadly not.

      In order to raise an action in Scotland, you need to have residence or domicile. You have neither.

      I am afraid that you need to approach the courts in the area where you are currently living.

      I am sorry to give you the bad news but wish you all the best.

      Bruce de Wert

  23. Constance Saunders says:

    I got married in Newfoundland, Canada and have been legally seperated from my husband since 1999. I now live in Scotland! Can I get a divorce here without having to contact him? I don’t want money and our child is 22! Can you do the paperwork and if so at what cost? I don’t know where he lives anymore!

  24. Sandra ferguson says:

    Hi I got a quick divorce I 2006 I did not know the ware a outs of my husband and ithe did not contest it and it was finalised .
    There was no financial arrangements at the time . We did own property but he was contributing to the up keep or mortgage.
    Eventually after the divorce I bought him out of the property.
    He has since died and it has come to light there is government pension that was accrued while we were married .
    Will I be entitled to a share of this pension till the time of our divorce

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