bto solicitors - Corporate & Commercial Business Lawyers Glasgow Edinburgh Scotland

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    "really fights your corner..." Chambers UK
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    "Consistently high-quality work and client-friendly approach." Chambers UK

Relationship Breakdown


BTO has its own dedicated Family Law website. To visit the site, click here:



Divorce is normally the final stage in regulating your affairs with your spouse or civil partner.

Depending on your particular set of circumstances, you can divorce after one year’s separation with your spouse/civil partner’s consent or after 2 years’ separation where no consent is required; or upon the issue of an Interim Gender Recognition Certificate.

If you have children under sixteen, your divorce will be more complicated.

In some cases we will need to raise divorce proceedings immediately, for example, to secure jurisdiction, or seek protective measures.

Dissolution of Civil Partnerships

A Civil Partnership affords same sex couples or heterosexual couples the same rights and obligations as married couples.

Although the rights and obligations are the same, a civil partnership is a distinct legal concept and is governed by separate legislation. We can advise on all issues including pre and post civil partnership agreements, dissolutions, financial and property claims and child matters.

Separation Agreements

Separation agreements are very commonly entered into in Scotland and are legally binding on the parties. Very often such agreements are entered into without the need for ever going to court and they often follow successful mediations, collaborative cases, and negotiations. Once signed and registered, these agreements serve to extinguish all claims either party can make on the other on divorce or death.

Cohabiting Couples

The Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 introduced a statutory legal framework for the breakdown of the relationship of cohabiting couples. This means that if you live together as either a heterosexual or same sex couple, you may be entitled to make a financial claim either on separation or death.

Unlike marriage or civil partnership, strict time limits apply to making such claims.

If you have been cohabiting and are now separated or bereaved, you should make contact with us as soon as you can so that you can obtain urgent, specialist advice.

If you are contemplating cohabitation or are already living with someone, but wish to protect your property, we can assist by offering specialist advice on cohabitation agreements to enable you and your partner to “contract out” of the statutory legal framework.

International Cases/Choice of Jurisdiction

If you are a Scottish national who lives abroad (or recently returned) or a foreign national living in Scotland or are married to a foreign national, you may have a choice of countries in which you can divorce.

Making the right choice can have a significant impact on awards of financial claims. By way of example, the level of awards you might expect in England varies significantly from those you might expect in Scotland.

At BTO, we are members of global lawyers’ organisations such as Mackrell International, IACP and IAML and therefore can obtain urgent advice from specialist lawyers around the world.

Armed with this specialist advice, we ensure that you can make educated decisions.

ContactLesley Gordon, Partner  /  Call 0131 222 2959 or T. 0141 225 4848

“The level of service has always been excellent, with properly experienced solicitors dealing with appropriate cases" Legal 500

Contact BTO


  • 48 St. Vincent Street
  • Glasgow
  • G2 5HS
  • T:+44 (0)141 221 8012
  • F:+44 (0)141 221 7803


  • One Edinburgh Quay
  • Edinburgh
  • EH3 9QG
  • T:+44 (0)131 222 2939
  • F:+44 (0)131 222 2949