Legally binding agreements: property division and child care when relationships break down
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In Scotland, couples are able to enter into a written agreement regulating the division of their property and any ongoing support for each other, or for their children, when they separate. These ‘minutes of agreement’ mean individuals do not have to go to court. They may register their signed agreement in the Books of Council and Session where it becomes a legally binding agreement with the same force as a court order. Spouses wishing to divorce still have to obtain a divorce decree from the court, but the court is under no obligation to review the content of the minutes of agreement about property at that point. Usually people only become aware they can reach agreement over their property in this way after consulting solicitors who advise their client what their rights are, based on the provisions of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985.