The well-established test to set aside a minute of agreement laid out in Gillon v Gillon (No 3) 1995 SLT 678 was reaffirmed by the Sheriff Appeal Court in Bradley v Bradley [2017] SAC (Civ) 29.

At first instance the sheriff had been persuaded that, viewed objectively, the agreement was unfair, in particular where it obliged the appellant to make a monthly payment equivalent to half of the net income he received from his police pension.

The sheriff had relied on the fact that the pursuer had not received legal advice and had signed up to an agreement without limit of time, contrary to the clean break ethos of the Act, to justify setting aside this provision.

Delivering the opinion of the court, Sheriff Ross stated the terms of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985 do not limit parties’ freedom to reach their own specific arrangements. They are not required to “conform to any particular model of agreement, or time-scale, or content”.

The pursuer chose not to take legal advice at the material time, but there was no evidence of pressure on him and he was able to give instructions to his solicitor on other matters.