There are many different elements to ‘family law’, including divorce, separation, residence and contact, division of property. Our team of experienced solicitors are here to provide an approachable and professional service and give you advice on all areas of family law.
The breakdown of a marriage can be a difficult and upsetting time, often with many different issues, both practical and legal, that requires being resolved, for example, arrangements may need to be put in place in relation to the children or property and assets need to be divided fairly between parties.
It is important that during this process that you seek legal advice.
If there are no children of the marriage under the age of 16 years and there are no financial matters to resolve, you may be able to apply for a simplified divorce, which is a quicker and less complex procedure.
Alternatively, a divorce has to be obtained by way of a court action, which is regulated by Divorce (Scotland) Act 1976.
There are 4 grounds of divorce in Scotland, namely:
- Unreasonable behaviour
- 1 year separation (with both parties consent)
- 2 year separation
Whatever your circumstances we will tailor our approach to best suit your needs.
Contact & Residence (Custody)
One of the most common disputes after the breakdown of a relationship concerns children; where should they live? How often should they see mum/dad?
In an ideal world, all parties involved would agree where the child should live and how often the child would see the other party. Unfortunately, that is often not possible and parents can’t reach any consensus on what is best for their children. In these situations, we can help you.
We are experienced in dealing with parents concerned that they are not having contact with their children and others who are worried that having contact with the other parent is detrimental to their child’s welfare. We can give you straightforward, helpful advice on how to deal with these situations.
It is becoming increasingly common for other family members, such as grandparents, older siblings and aunts, to seek contact (even residence) with children and while there is no law allowing them automatic rights, there is nothing preventing extended family from seeking contact.
In Scotland the law (governed by Children (Scotland) Act 1995) provides that the paramount consideration should be the ‘best interests of the child’. We keep that at the forefront to ensure that everything can be done for you and the children involved.
Parental Rights and Responsibilities
In Scotland, since 2006, as long as both parents are named on the child’s birth certificate both mum and dad have parental rights and responsibilities for that child; equal rights for both mum and dad.
There is s difficulty for those who are not named on the child’s birth certificate; it means they have no legal right in respect of that child. However, we can help give advice on the implications of this and also on how to obtain parental rights and responsibilities for a child.
Also, it is worth remembering that a Parental Rights and Responsibilities order is not just restricted to mum and dad; any adult who has care of a child can obtain an order, giving them rights equal to those of a mother.
Protection from Abuse/Harassment
It is an unfortunate reality that some people suffer from harassment and abuse by others. This can be verbal abuse, intimidation, physical violence and even sexual violence. While it is a daunting prospect talking to someone, we can help you get protection from abuse.
There are a variety of different ways in which the law can assist victims of such behaviour, for example Matrimonial Homes (Family Protection) (Scotland) Act 1981 provides that someone suffering from abuse within the family home can seek an order to exclude the abusive partner from the house.
The Protection from Abuse (Scotland) Act 2001 lets people seek an interdict (similar to an injunction) and to attach a Power of Arrest to it, meaning that if the perpetrator breaks the interdict then he or she will be immediately arrested.
There are a variety of different remedies available to those suffering from abuse, and not only by partners, many people suffer abuse from neighbours, ex-partners. We will look at each client’s individual problem and tailor the best solution for them.
Contact Katani & Co
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