In Europe, you would find that the judicial system varies from country to country. In the UK, for instance, the ‘English law’ applies, while North Ireland has its own legal system that is mostly identical to English family laws with minor changes, if any.
Then you have Scotland’s legal system, which firstly is in a wholly separate jurisdiction and has a different court-structure. The only similarity would be that both share a magnificent Supreme Court, situated in Parliament Square. The laws themselves are quite contrasting. Scotland’s laws don’t offer the same provisions that the UK does to couples. In fact, as per the sound cohabitation law, couples don’t get the same rights as married couples. There is, however, scope for dispute resolution even for cohabiting couples.
Even when it comes to married couples, the divorce proceedings, financial settlements and general laws governing divorce are markedly different when compared to that of England’s. Scotland is a bit more conservative when it comes to divorce laws, and the two systems are so different that where the ruling is in favor of the husband in one system, in the same situation, the ruling would perhaps be in favor of the wife in any other system. Lets take the case of a non-working woman married to a wealthy man. This woman has got a sizable inheritance over the course of their marriage.
If a divorce is to occur, then the woman would be at a huge financial disadvantage after the ruling in Scotland, where the ruling will be in favor of the husband. On the other hand, England’s laws provide the woman a monetary settlement that covers her basic needs so that she can meet her needs in full without much effort. By contrast, Scotland merely offers half of their shared assets and three years’ maintenance. The assets her husband owned prior to marriage are out of the scope of Scotland’s divorce laws. Now in the instance where there is a dispute between Scotland and the UK, where each party wishes to conduct the proceedings in a different jurisdiction, then the divorce proceedings will be held in the country where the parties had their most recent matrimonial home.
England and Wales are considered to be in the same jurisdiction, so if the matrimonial home is in England or Wales, but the wealthier party chose to hold the proceedings in Scotland, then the decision of Scotland’s court could be contested and the petition would be stayed.
Scotland’s laws require strict time-limits regarding the divorce-petition application or agreement between parties, whereas the UK is more liberal when it comes to this. England requires financial disclosure before any kind of financial settlement, whereas Scotland does not require it.
Scotland and England are quite different when it comes to their laws, so choosing to hold your divorce proceedings in either jurisdiction could have an effect on the final ruling, so you should consult your family lawyer as soon as possible regarding the same.
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