Separation and Divorce

Family Matters - Separation, Divorce and Dissolution

Every family has arguments at some time, and every relationship can go through difficult times. Often these problems are resolved but sometimes they are not, and a couple may choose to separate, divorce, or to dissolve their civil partnership.

What happens at the end of a relationship depends on the type of relationship a couple have. There are lots of services available to support couples both during and after their relationship.

Marriage and civil partnership wedding rings

If a couple are married or in a civil partnership, the law sets down rules that say what their responsibilities and rights towards one another are, and how and when they can get divorced or have their civil partnership dissolved. You can find out more about marriage and civil partnership (and what happens when they end) in our publication Family Matters: Marriage and Civil Partnership

Cohabitation (living together)

If a couple are cohabiting (living together as if they are spouses or civil partners), the law is less clear and much will depend on the circumstances of their relationship. We have more information in our publication Family Matters: Living together in Scotland

Children and young people ssslogo

If parents or a couple looking after children decide to separate, the couple will have to think about how this will affect the child. The law also sets out rules about what is expected of the adults in a child's life. We have more information in our publication Family Matters: Children and Young People

Organisations that can help

Whether you are in a relationship going through difficulties or have decided to end a relationship and need support, there are Organisation that can help you.