Divorce or Dissolution
What happens if a relationship goes wrong?
Like any relationship, you may find problems crop up that prove hard to solve on your own. Any couple can get help from agencies such as Couple Counselling Scotland or Scottish Marriage Care.
If you suffer domestic abuse, you get the same legal protection as married couples. You can apply to court for specific orders to keep an abusive partner away from you or out of the house, even if they own it. The police must enforce these, and some orders may be granted with the power to arrest an abusive partner who breaches them. If you need to talk to someone about an abusive relationship you can contact the Broken Rainbow Helpline (08452 60 44 60), Scottish Women’s Aid, Scottish Domestic Abuse Hotline (0800 027 1234), Lesbian & Gay Switchboard, or your solicitor.
A civil partnership can only be dissolved through a court action. Anything acquired by either partner during the civil partnership becomes “partnership property”. If the civil partnership is dissolved, the court will value the partnership property and divide it fairly between the two partners. Child residence and contact will also be determined by the court, and the Child Support Agency will determine child maintenance payments.
We don’t know the potential cost of dissolution, but it is likely to be similar to divorce. Divorce can cost up to several thousand pounds. Simpler cases where you agree how to settle with your partner before you go to court are likely to be cheaper than those with disputes over money, property, or children. It is always advisable to work out as much as you can before court action.
A dissolution may take years to complete. You may be able to get a “DIY dissolution” using a simplified procedure: details of this should be available via the Scottish Courts website.
If you need to find a family law solicitor to handle your dissolution, you can contact the Law Society of Scotland: mention that you are looking for a family law solicitor with regard to the dissolution of a civil partnership.