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Civil Judicial Statistics Scotland 2002

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Civil Judicial Statistics Scotland 2002

6 Divorce

Introduction

1. The Divorce (Scotland) Act 1976 which came into effect on 1 January 1977 provides that irretrievable breakdown of a marriage can be established by:

  • adultery by the defender; or
  • behaviour by the defender; or
  • wilful desertion for 2 years; or
  • 2 years non-cohabitation where the defender consents to the divorce; or
  • 5 years non-cohabitation where the defender does not consent.

2. The Sheriff Courts have had concurrent jurisdiction in divorce actions with the Court of Session since 1 May 1984, the date when section 1 of the Divorce Jurisdiction, Court Fees and Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1983 was brought into operation.

Summary

3. The number of divorces granted in the Court of Session fell from 176 in 2001 to 136 in 2002. In the sheriff courts the number rose from 10,455 in 2001 to 10,690 in 2002. Table 6.1 and Chart S give details of the numbers during the period 1993 to 2002.

Table 6.1 Total number of Court of Session and sheriff court actions ended by final judgment, 1993 to 2002

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

Court of Session

397

454

339

276

267

254

289

244

176

136

Sheriff Courts

12,379

12,669

11,910

12,032

11,955

12,130

11,574

10,899

10,455

10,690

Totals

12,776

13,123

12,249

12,308

12,222

12,384

11,863

11,143

10,631

10,826

bar chart

Court of Session

4. Of the 136 divorce actions ended by final judgment in the Court of Session, about 15% were on the grounds of behaviour and about 56% on the grounds of 2 years non-cohabitation. Table 6.2 shows details

Table 6.2 Court of Session divorce actions ended by final judgment, by grounds, 2002

Adultery

Behaviour

Desertion

2 years non- cohabitation and consent

5 years non cohabitation

Other

Total

Actions brought by:

Husbands

2

3

-

37

11

-

53

Wives

6

18

2

39

17

1

83

Totals

8

21

2

76

28

1

136

Duration of the marriage:

Under 1 year

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1 and less than 2 years

-

1

-

-

-

-

1

2 and less than 5 years

-

1

-

13

-

1

15

5 and less than 10 years

2

5

-

26

4

-

37

10 and less than 20 years

3

8

2

19

11

-

43

20 years and over

3

6

-

18

13

-

40

Totals

8

21

2

76

28

1

136

Sheriff courts

5. Of the 10,690 divorce actions ended by final judgment in the sheriff courts, about 56% were on the grounds of 2 years non-cohabitation and over 15% on the grounds of behaviour. Table 6.3 shows details.

Table 6.3 Sheriff court divorce actions ended by final judgment, by grounds, 2002

Adultery

Behaviour

Desertion

2 years non-cohabitation and consent

5 years non-cohabitation

Other

Total

Actions brought by:

Husbands

134

230

7

2,374

1,218

9

3,972

Wives

286

1,405

33

3,632

1,352

10

6,718

Totals

420

1,635

40

6,006

2,570

19

10,690

Duration of the marriage:

Under 1 year

1

10

-

-

-

-

11

1 and less than 2 years

5

53

-

1

-

-

59

2 and less than 5 years

42

234

6

760

-

-

1,042

5 and less than 10 years

95

429

9

1,759

356

4

2,652

10 and less than 20 years

173

601

16

2,052

991

12

3,845

20 years and over

104

308

9

1,434

1,223

3

3,081

Totals

420

1,635

40

6,006

2,570

19

10,690