Services to help with a separation
Last updated: 25/01/2023
There may be situations during the process of separation when you need legal support and advice. Here are some services that could be useful.
A solicitor can help with legal matters like getting a divorce, dividing property or belongings and making arrangements for children.
Choose a solicitor who specialises in family law if possible. You can check for solicitors who practice family law in your area at the Family Law Association website.
If you are on a low income you may be entitled to legal aid to help with the costs. Not all solicitors offer legal aid, you can find those who do through the websites of the Family Law Association and Scottish Legal Aid Board.
CALM mediators are family lawyers who have at least seven years of family law experience. They have also trained as mediators and been accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as Family Law Mediators. They can deal with all issues arising from separation and divorce including child related matters, financial and property issues. The mediator is non-judgemental and will assist parents in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution. An hourly rate is charged and the cost is shared between the couple in whatever proportion they agree. Costs can be met through legal aid, if you qualify.
Collaborative family lawyers
The collaborative process aims to avoid drawn-out legal disputes and gives separating couples a way of working out a solution together. Each person has their own solicitor who will advise them throughout the process. A series of meetings take place which the separating couple and both their solicitors attend. Each meeting will be focused on resolving any disputes over finances and/or the arrangements for the children. The overall aim is to reach an agreement which can be drawn up by the solicitors in a formal Minute of Agreement. Sometimes other professionals are involved in the collaborative process, such as financial advisers and family therapists.
The collaborative process is based on a contract which the separating couple and their solicitors sign.
Scottish Child Law Centre
The Scottish Child Law Centre provides free expert legal advice and information on issues concerning children.
Advice line: 0131 667 6333
There are two free helplines for under 21-year olds:
For mobiles: 0300 330 1421
For landlines: 0800 328 8970
The telephone services are open Mon – Fri, 9.30am – 4pm.
New from Relationships Scotland
Relationships Scotland have a new resource that we have produced recently for children and young people – ‘Have Your Say’ – that explains how children can have their views heard in family mediation.
Take a look at Have Your Say
Relationships Scotland’s network provide relationship counselling, family mediation, child contact centres and other family support services across all of mainland and island Scotland. Our work supports individuals, couples and families experiencing relationship difficulties. Around 40,000 people have contact with our services each year.
Services and information include:
- Relationship counselling
- Family mediation
- Child contact centres