Joanne Major, Principal at Major Family Law, the Divorce and Family Law Specialists, Newcastle upon Tyne responds to a weekly question and answer column in the Journal as follows:
My husband went to work in Scotland about 3 years ago. We were seeing each other regularly as we have a son aged 7. Suddenly he stopped seeing us and now he says he wants a divorce. Does it make a difference if we divorce in England or Scotland?
Scotland and England have very different legal systems and it seems to me that you can choose either place to start divorce proceedings. Using the English system it will take about 3-6 months for the divorce to go through. You haven’t said when your husband told you that your marriage was over, you might be able to proceed with a divorce based on your separation for more than 2 years, with his consent.
I believe under the Scottish system it might be quicker or cheaper to get a divorce but when it comes to a financial split, it might be better for you to proceed under the English system. The English system is likely to be more generous to you in respect of ongoing spousal maintenance, whereas the Scottish system strongly emphasises a clean break. You should seek specific advice about the right jurisdiction for you to issue proceedings before it is too late.