Glossary of Terms

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The following is a useful glossary of family law related terms used in Scotland:


Occupancy Rights

Are the rights that a spouse has to occupy a “matrimonial home” at the end of a marriage. A non-entitled spouse, for example, a cohabitant, may apply to the court for occupancy rights depending upon their circumstances.

Options Hearing

Is a court hearing at the Sheriff court where both sides are usually required to be present (unless advised otherwise by their representative), and at which the court will expect to be informed what stage the case is at and what the points in issue are so as to determine the best way forward. Usually the future procedure will be the fixing of a proof. There are no Options Hearings in Court of Session cases.

Ordinary Action

Can include an action of divorce where there are children under the age of 16 or an action dealing with outstanding financial matters arising from a relationship.