Divorcing in Scotland is available not only to Scots living in Scotland or abroad but also to foreigners living in Scotland and to those married to someone living in Scotland. Before deciding where to seek a divorce, you should consider important aspects such as the country of marriage, the countries you lived in as a married couple and your country of residence when filing for divorce.
If you choose to file for divorce in Scotland and your spouse lives in Spain, Spanish sworn translation of Scottish divorce documents will be required. This article aims to provide a brief general overview of why this is the case, which documents must be translated and how to arrange a Spanish sworn translation.
Why is Spanish sworn translation of Scottish divorce documents required?
For Scottish divorce documents to be considered formally served abroad they must be accompanied by a translation into an official language of the country in which service is to be executed (in this case, Spain). This is irrespective of the type of divorce procedure (simplified or ordinary) and of who is serving the documents (the applicant, a sheriff clerk, a solicitor, etc.).
Which Scottish divorce documents require translation into Spanish?
The documents requiring Spanish translation will be the ones to be served to your spouse in Spain and will depend on the type of divorce procedure, your circumstances and where you are seeking divorce.
Do-it-yourself (also called simplified) divorce procedures:
If you are applying for simplified divorce in a sheriff court, you will need to lodge and subsequently translate one of these forms, as applicable:
- SPA Simplified Divorce 1 year separation
- SPB Simplified Divorce 2 year separation
- SPC Simplified Divorce interim gender cert
If you are applying for simplified divorce in the Court of Session, you will need to lodge and subsequently translate one of these forms, as applicable:
- 73-A under the Divorce (Scotland) Act 1976, Section 1(2)(d) Simplified Procedure
- 73-B under the Divorce (Scotland) Act 1976, Section 1(2)(e) Simplified Procedure
- 73-C under the Divorce (Scotland) Act 1976, Section 1(1)(b) Simplified Procedure
Ordinary divorce procedures
If you are filing for divorce using the ordinary procedure at a sheriff court, a Spanish sworn translation of the initial writ will be required.
If you are filing for divorce using the ordinary procedure at the Court of Session, a Spanish sworn translation of the summons will be required.
The relevant document to initiate the divorce proceedings and its translation will be served by a sheriff officer or by your solicitor to your spouse in Spain (and to the co-defender, too, if adultery is the ground for divorce used). Read more about grounds for divorce.
Ordinary divorce procedures are fairly complex, particularly defended ones; other forms and documents may need to be served upon your spouse in Spain (and therefore, translated into Spanish).
When to arrange the Spanish sworn translation of Scottish divorce documents
Each simplified divorce application form includes directions on page one. Follow the instructions, complete the relevant sections of the form and contact a Spanish sworn translator before serving the form to your spouse in Spain – whether the form is served by you or by the court.
Two examples below for simplified divorce applications to a sheriff court:
Form SPA (divorce with consent and +1 year separation)
- Complete and sign Part 1 of the form.
- Send the form to your spouse in Spain for completion of the consent at Part 2.
- Take the form to a Justice of the Peace, Notary Public, Commissioner for Oaths or other duly authorised person so that your affidavit at Part 3 may be completed and sworn.
- Arrange the Spanish sworn translation of the form.
- Return the completed application form (and the translation) to the sheriff clerk, who will formally serve them to your spouse in Spain.
Form SPB (+2 years separation)
- Complete and sign Part 1 of the form.
- Take the form to a Justice of the Peace, Notary Public, Commissioner for Oaths or other duly authorised person so that your affidavit in Part 2 may be completed and sworn.
- Arrange the Spanish sworn translation of form.
- Send your application (and translation) to the sheriff clerk, who will formally serve them to your spouse in Spain.
Translating your Scottish divorce documents into Spanish
All foreign documents to be submitted to Spain as part of official procedures must be translated into Spanish by a translator duly appointed as an English-Spanish sworn translator by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Bear in mind that translations are supporting documents; they should never be submitted or served on their own but always together with their corresponding original document.
As an Edinburgh-based English-Spanish sworn translator myself, I can help with the Spanish sworn translation of your Scottish divorce documents. If you have not requested a sworn translation before, visit the Q&A section of my blog, where I have answered many frequently asked questions from clients.
Once you have your relevant divorce documents ready, contact me by email and send full scanned copies to receive a formal quotation.
The information included in this article is correct at the time of publication/last update. This article is for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. ICR Translations will not be liable for any loss or damage arising from loss of data or profits as a result of, or in connection with, the use of this website.
Irene Corchado Resmella, a Spanish translator based in Edinburgh. English-Spanish sworn translator appointed by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chartered Linguist and member of the CIOL. As a legal translator, I focus on Private Client law, specialising in Wills and Succession across three jurisdictions (England & Wales, Spain, and Scotland). Affiliate member of STEP. ICR Translations is registered with the ICO and has professional indemnity insurance.