Friday, December 23, 2005

Scotland: Family law changes approved

The Scottish Parliament has passed the most liberal divorce laws in the United Kingdom.

Sweeping reforms to family law in Scotland have been approved. The new law reduces the time periods for a divorce. Until now, couples seeking to end their marriage where there are no fault grounds - such as adultery or desertion - must have lived apart for at least two years. In contested 'no fault' cases, the minimum separation period is five years. These timescales are now reduced to one year and two years respectively.

The law also gives new parental rights and responsibilities to unmarried fathers jointly registering the child's birth and provides cohabiting couples with some legal safeguards over shared household goods and expenses.