Tue 19 Sep 2023

Separation Agreements in Scotland: Frequently Asked Questions

Mark Pelosi, Solicitor in the Family Law team, shares the most frequently asked questions and answers on separation agreements in Scotland. 

What is a Separation Agreement in Scotland? 

A Separation Agreement in Scotland is a legally binding contract between separating couples at the end of a marriage, civil partnership or cohabitation. Also known as a Minute of Agreement it can cover various aspects arising from the separation, including all financial matters, division of assets, child residence and contact, and other relevant issues.

Can a Separation Agreement in Scotland be amended or revoked?

Yes, a Separation Agreement in Scotland can be amended, although only under strict circumstances. If both parties mutually agree to the changes, in writing, they can modify the agreement by entering into a new agreement. However, any amendments must be properly documented and signed before a witness to ensure their legal validity.

A Separation Agreement can also be revoked (set aside) entirely however this must be done through the court system and the test for doing so is extremely high. Legal advice should be taken before considering doing so.

Can I include specific mention of assets in a Separation Agreement in Scotland?

Absolutely. In fact, it is highly recommended to include specific details regarding the division of assets in a Separation Agreement in Scotland. This helps provide clarity and avoid potential disputes in the future. You can outline the specific assets to be allocated to each party, such as properties, bank accounts, investments, vehicles, and any other possessions.

Can a Separation Agreement in Scotland address the sharing of a pet?

Yes, a Separation Agreement in Scotland can address the sharing of a pet post-separation. Pets are often considered part of the family, and sharing their care is an important aspect of a separation or divorce. You can include provisions specifying who will have 'contact' with the pet, when and how the responsibilities for pet-related expenses are shared, and other relevant matters to ensure the wellbeing of your furry companions.

Can child-related matters be included in a Separation Agreement in Scotland?

Yes, child-related matters can and should be addressed in a Separation Agreement in Scotland. These matters may include who the child predominantly lives with, contact schedules with the other parent, child support/maintenance, education (e.g. school fees), healthcare, and any other important aspects concerning the welfare of the child. It is crucial to create a detailed and comprehensive plan that reflects the best interests of the child or children involved.

How can I ensure the legality and enforceability of a Separation Agreement in Scotland?

To ensure the legality of a Separation Agreement in Scotland, it is advisable to consult with a qualified family law solicitor. They will guide you through the process, ensure that the agreement complies with the relevant laws in Scotland, and help protect your rights and interests. Working with a legal professional will give you peace of mind and increase the likelihood of the agreement being upheld by the court, if challenged.

Provided that a Separation Agreement is drafted correctly, it can be enforced in the same way as any other legally binding contract.

 What happens if one party violates the terms of a Separation Agreement in Scotland?

 If one party breaches the terms of a Separation Agreement in Scotland, the other party can seek legal remedies. This may be through the court system or, if relating to the payment of money, instructing sheriff officers to obtain payment on their behalf. It is crucial to seek legal advice to explore the available options for resolution or enforcement. Please note that while this article provides general information, it is not a substitute for professional legal advice. Each case is unique, and it is essential to consult with a qualified family law lawyer to address your specific circumstances.

For more information or to receive legal advice on separation agreements in Scotland, please contact us. We have extensive experience in family law matters and can provide you with the necessary assistance to navigate your specific circumstances.

Contact our Family Lawyers in Glasgow or Edinburgh today to discuss your case and find the best solutions for your situation.

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