Separation Agreements are alternatives to divorces used spouses and civil partners who decide to formally separate but not go ahead with the divorce proceedings immediately.
A Separation Agreement would deal with matters such as maintenance payments for children and matters regarding the home and other marital assets.
One of the major advantages of having a Separation Agreement is that the terms can be applied fairly quickly compared to divorces. Hence, it is more cost effective than the divorce process. As Separation Agreements are flexible agreements this gives it additional benefits. They are fairly comprehensive and encompass issues which the court does not have the power to order, such as payment of outstanding hire-purchase debts, settlement of repairs on the home etc.
On the down side with Separation Agreements is that either spouse can request from the court further arrangements at a future date (for example on divorce or dissolution of the marriage). Hence, Separation Agreements cannot be seen as the final step to a marriage and instead are used as an interim step for couples who no longer live together, but for whatever reason, have not commenced divorce proceedings. They desire an agreement to be in place to deal comprehensively with their finances as no more than an interim measure before the divorce.
So it can be upheld by the courts, the parties to the Separation Agreement must make full and frank financial disclosure to each other. In addition, they both must have separate and independent legal advice.
Please contact our divorce solicitor if you are interested to know about Separation Agreements and how they could assist you.