Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Joint Minute of Agreement

In Scotland a divorce is not usually granted until all financial matters and issues related to children are resolved. Written agreement about financial provision and arrangements for children can be reached in the form of a joint minute of agreement which the court converts into a binding court order.

Finances The matrimonial assets and debts are those accumulated between the dates of marriage and separation. Inheritances and gifts are not matrimonial assets. On divorce matrimonial assets are shared 'fairly' (equally) and reflect the unequal burden of childcare which can arise on divorce, or compensate one party for any economic disadvantage they may suffer. Non-matrimonial assets are not shared but are a resource taken into account when sharing the matrimonial assets.

Spouses have a mutual obligation of financial support. After they have separated, but before they are divorced, this is known as aliment. Maintenance may also be payable after divorce to allow for a period of readjustment. This is called periodical allowance and lasts for a maximum of 3 years unless there are special circumstances.

Children Parents have equal rights and responsibilities for their children.

Parental Responsibilities

• to safeguard and promote the child’s health, development and welfare

• to provide, in a manner appropriate to the stage of development of the child, direction and guidance

• if the child is not living with the parent, to maintain personal relations and direct contact with the child on a regular basis

• to act as the child’s legal representative.

Parental Rights

• to have the child living with you or otherwise to regulate the child’s residence

• to control, direct or guide, in a manner appropriate to the stage of development of the child, the child’s upbringing

• if the child is not living with you, to maintain personal relations and direct contact with the child on a regular basis

• to act as the child’s legal representative.


Sam Hasler 15 February, 2008 03:01  

Can you explain the difference between parental rights and parental responsibilities?

Fiona 20 February, 2008 00:34  


Under s1Children Act (Scotland) 1995 there is a distinction between the responsibilities a parent has towards their children and the rights required to enable parents to fulfil those duties.

I had a quick look at your blog and it's interesting to compare notes across the pond so I have added it to m blogroll.

littlemo 04 September, 2008 22:18  

I am looking for some help. I'd like to know what happens if a minute of agreement is broken, such as; mortage payments while my are still in full time education. The previously agreed payments have been continuously delayed and I am in need of some advice, any help?

Fiona 05 September, 2008 22:50  

You may ask the courts to enforce the agreement and CAB is a good starting place to find information. Sometimes a formal letter from a solicitor does the job. Hope that helps.

Anonymous,  19 March, 2009 10:58  

Can you help me with my settlement proposal. My husband is threatening me with court action if I do not quickly settle.
I am currently in MH and have been paying joint obligations for house and 2 children since he chose to leave last April. Can he force me to move out? Or take me to court and sue me?
I have a very good pension. He chose to stop paying in to his 10 years ago (unknown to me) and it is worth 1/10th of mine. Does it have to be a 50/50 split considering I have sole responsibility for children and they will be economically disdvantaged in the future now? Do all husbands get share of wifes pension ?

Fiona 17 May, 2009 02:55  

Sorry littlemo, for some reason I didn't receive notification regarding your comment. The split doesn't have to be 50:50, there are a number of different factors to consider and each case is different.

My advice is see a solicitor early on and and find out where you stand and what options are.

Unknown 24 August, 2009 10:42  

If a minute of agreement re contact has been drawn up and chidren are not returned to primary parent at time agreed,can they be returned by police?

Fiona 24 August, 2009 17:39  

No, involving the police isn't particularly pleasant for children and if it is once off for a few hours/overnight all you can really do is bite your lip very hard. The first port of call would be a solicitor and then the court.

Anonymous,  03 February, 2010 12:42  

Help! I'm an english lass that is just is getting frustrated at tying to understand Scottish divorce! I met my partner six months after a letter of seperartion was signed by both parties (she left him, & she intitiated the divorce)once she found out about our relationship she then petitioned for divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour!, although the children from the relationship had grown up & left home, & that she never worked to contribute, she is paid £350 per month (I didnt get this from my ex despite having 4 children! Now the house has been sold they should be sorting out the financial aspects to complete the divorce & my partner has offered her more than half assets on 4 occassions which she has turned down, she is now refusing to respond to her lawyers requests to make an appointment to negotiate, is she allowed to do this? I feel that my partners lawyer not working to my partners best interests, how long can this go on, what can my partner do?

Fiona 06 February, 2010 22:22  

How long is a piece of string? ;)

Negotiation is voluntary and solicitors have no authority to force a client to negotiate. Ultimately the only way to move matters forward in both Scotland or England & Wales is to make a court application, although that can be expensive.

Anonymous,  20 January, 2013 19:21  

I have had a Minute of agreement for the last two years and it stipulates what access I have to my daughter. Althought it took me a long time to get this drawn up, I eventually got it drawn up and put through the Courts in Scotland. Last year I had my correct access and actually managed to negotiate more. I work full time and contacted my ex partner about the dates for me getting my daughter at Easter. I heard nothing back so was expecting the worst. I managed to finally get a response and it was basically that she was taking her away on holiday. This meant I was not only not getting my time with her during the holidays but also that she was taking her away over one of my weekends. Can I go to court to make her comly to the agreement?

Fiona 20 January, 2013 20:27  

I'm sorry you are having contact problems. It's not that straight forward going back to court to force someone to comply with contact particularly as the agreement hasn't actually been broken yet. A solicitor's letter would perhaps be a better way to resolve the matter. If the matter can't be resolved and you then go to court the letter can then be used as evidence that you have been reasonable and tried to resolve the issue before going back to court.

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