Posted in Family Law
The breakdown of relationships is a sad fact of life.
It has always happened, but this can often be of little comfort to those in the midst of relationship turmoil.
As family law specialists in London we are very much part of the process of helping couples move on to pastures new, and despite our legal experience, the human side of such issues is never lost on us.
This is especially the case when a break-up becomes acrimonious and drawn out. Of course, in some cases this is unavoidable, but wherever possible and whatever the situation all should be done to ensure damage limitation.
One such method to limit the stress is separation agreements.
Often overlooked, Separation Agreements are alternatives to divorce used by spouses and civil partners who make the decision to formally separate but to hold off with divorce proceedings until a later date.
These agreements deal with matters such as maintenance payments for children and other issues regarding the home and other marital assets.
The terms of a Separation Agreement can be applied fairly quickly in comparison to divorces, which also make them affordable. Also, as Separation Agreements are flexible agreements they can have additional benefits.
They are relatively comprehensive and include 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.
Of course though, there are down sides in that either partner can request from the court further arrangements at a future date (for example on divorce or dissolution of the marriage).
Therefore, Separation Agreements cannot be seen as the final step to end a marriage and instead are used as an interim step for couples who have decided to no longer live together, but for whatever reason, have not commenced divorce proceedings.
Used well though an agreement can take the stress out of the breakdown of the relationship and means both partners know where they stand. Theyalso give clarity and certainty, and whilst not technically legally binding, agreements properly and fairly negotiated will be upheld if challenged.
In essence, separation agreements can work for some couples and certainly help to see the big picture of many years ahead allowing for a less volatile break up.
Whilst we at Pindoria Solicitors help many couples each year move on via this method, we feel not enough is known about them and they should be highlighted more to the public.