A separation agreement is for married or unmarried couples who intend to separate and want a legal document drawn up to confirm arrangements for their finances. They are often entered in to by married couples who do not wish to divorce.
Entering into a separation agreement could help you avoid disputes over household bills, possessions, how best to deal with joint assets and how best to help any child involved. This type of agreement is not a court order and the court is not involved in preparing it. For this reason the terms of a separation agreement are not strictly binding in law, but the courts are becoming far more willing to consider the terms of a separation agreement later on. It follows that they are of increasing benefit to have.
Our specialist team can advise and draft bespoke separation agreements to suit all circumstances.
Is there a formal separation process?
Apart from Judicial separation, which is relevant in certain circumstances, there is no other standard process.
What protection is there?
Both married and non-married couples can enter into a separation agreement.
What is a separation agreement?
This is a document which outlines the proposed financial arrangements upon separation. They are mainly used when it is not appropriate to divorce immediately.
What is the benefit of entering into one for a married couple?
This document allows a couple who have separated but not yet decided to commence divorce proceedings to outline financial arrangements.
What is the benefit for a non-married couple?
A non-married couple may find an agreement like this useful since non-married partners do not have the same rights upon separation.
Is a separation agreement binding?
A separation agreement does not have the same status as a Court Order and therefore we would always recommend that if you do enter into a separation agreement and you divorce, that in due course you also obtain a Court Order.
If I divorce, what happens?
At this point, a Consent Order will be prepared based on the contents of the separation agreement. However, it is important to note that depending on the amount of time that has passed, the agreement may need to be amended as the terms may no longer be considered fair by a Judge.
Why should I enter into one?
Entering into a separation agreement provides certainty during what can be a very uncertain time.
What are the advantages?
– As it is agreed that you no longer live together your spouse cannot seek to divorce you on the basis of Desertion.
– It confirms the date on which you both agree that the relationship ended
– It is a flexible document so you can decide on its contents.
– It can assist in reducing the tension when sorting out financial arrangements
What are the disadvantages?
– They are not easy documents to enforce.
– They can only be amended if you both agree to the changes
– Depending on the circumstances, a court might disregard some or all of its contents if you proceed to divorce or dissolve your Civil Partnership
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