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Legal insights & industry updates

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Separation & divorce - the importance of thinking ahead financially in challenging times

Citizens Advice Scotland recently published an article in The Herald explaining that following a recent poll, 41% of adults in Scotland are financially worse off as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic alone. In addition, there are also concerns that Scots will continue to suffer because of the soaring energy bills, rising inflation and increased living costs more generally. The likely outcome being that many families will fall into debt or even poverty.

Sadly, a rise in living costs all too often can either make or break a relationship or marriage. It is not uncommon for such pressures to also impact on a person’s mental health and wellbeing. As a firm specialising in family law, we have seen this first hand. We noticed this following lockdown with redundancies and then the furlough scheme being introduced. Changes in people working from home also added a new dynamic and pressures within households. We now anticipate something similar to occur because of the cost of living rising significantly too.

When it comes to a potential separation or divorce, it is vital that you seek legal advice from an expert specialising in family law as soon as practicable. Although, a separation or divorce may not necessarily materialise, speaking to a solicitor early will ensure that you find out where you stand legally in the event of a worst-case scenario. It will also give you a chance to consider planning your own future and that of your children, if applicable.

The law in Scotland offers a variety of legal remedies to married couples in the event of a separation; however, those legal rights are far more limited to couples who have only been living together as ‘cohabitants’ i.e. unmarried. It is important to be aware that there are stark differences in the rights available, and for cohabitees, strict timescales applicable to make a claim in the event of a separation.

There are a variety of forms of dispute resolution that are available in order to address any relationship difficulties or a separation, including negotiation, mediation, collaboration, and litigation. At Harper Macleod we have a team of solicitors who will be able to advise you on what form of resolution would be most suitable to your circumstances and protect your best interests.

1.8 million Scots saw their finances worsen during the Covid pandemic. Sadly, a rise in living costs all too often can either make or break a relationship or marriage.


divorce, separation, covid-19, cohabitation, collaboration, mediation, scotland, mental health, family law

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