In Scotland, there is only one legal ground for divorce. Scottish law states that a marriage must have "irretrievably" broken down. How a spouse goes about proving that is open to interpretation apparently. But there are fiver reasons a spouse (and I use the term "spouse" in the masculine and feminine form) can demonstrate their marriage is over. This includes adultery, unreasonable behavior (just in case "adultery" isn't unreasonable enough), desertion and a two-year separation when both husband and wife agree to it, and spending five years apart when just one partner consents. Call me silly, but I don't think many Scotts are going to be jetting to Las Vegas for a quickie divorce.
Now we all know there isn't much to laugh about concerning divorce. After divorce, if both parties can walk away more or less unscathed then they are very lucky. If there are children involved, and after divorce they can are able to maintain some sense of normalcy then they too are very lucky. It doesn't always happen that way. It certainly doesn't happen too often when a couple wants a divorce in Scotland.
In fact, in an effort to make it less difficult for a divorce in Scotland, a special hotline was established for Scotts to find information on the Scottish procedure for divorce. It's called "Dial-a-Law and its aim is to provide help and advice to couple looking to get a divorce. This service, which operates around-the-clock, also puts couples in touch with lawyers in the local area that may be of service explaining laws and other divorce legalities. The hotline even assists after divorce proceedings wrap.
I don't believe this type of service exists in the United States. Most - if not all - legal advice is advice to be paid for. I don't believe my friend had access to this type of thing when he was sorting through all his legal options before and after divorce proceedings began. Anyway, divorce proceeding are pretty much cut and dried, and relatively easy to obtain. Certainly not like in other parts of Europe. Italy for example. And definitely not like Scotland.
According to Scottish lawyers, the biggest roadblock to obtaining a divorce has to do with interpretation of the five reasons listed above. Having said, there is a quick way to obtain a divorce that apparently is based on economic status and duration of marriage. According to the law, "...a divorce can be granted if...there are no money issues between the parties and no children under the age of sixteen" The cost of the divorce is 62 pounds and all that is needed is for the legal documents to be notarized. And one or both of the parties can be exempt from paying if they are on welfare.
No court hearing is needed and a divorce can usually be completed in seven or eight weeks. There are no follow-up fees after divorce proceedings wrap.
Notice the above quick-and-easy divorce is basically for low-income couples. You don't have divorce settlements to barter over. My friend wasn't so lucky. His divorce settlement was pretty hefty, but in the end he had custody of the children and his ex her freedom, so I guess everything worked out in the end.