Separation Agreements

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.

FAQ

  1. What is a separation agreement?

    A separation agreement is a form of agreement made by a couple who have decided to get separated, post or before marriage. The agreement focuses on arrangements of finances, property, and children after the couple stops living together.

    The agreement is drawn by a solicitor and presented before the court if one of the spouses wants to challenge the conditions of the separation order agreement.

  2. Do I need a solicitor for a separation agreement?

    Yes, you do need to hire a lawyer for separation agreement. Hiring a solicitor can be highly beneficial in such cases. The solicitor can fill in a separation petition on your behalf and send it further to court.

    The legal separation agreement that the solicitor will craft is crucial in deciding the outcome of your case.

  3. How do I apply for a legal separation?

    You can apply for a legal separation agreement with the help of a solicitor. The process involves:

    1. Confirming your state’s residency requirements
    2. Filing for a separate petition
    3. Filing a legal separation agreement
    4. Provide a copy of the legal separation agreement to your spouse
    5. Settle down unresolved issues
    6. Signing and notarising of the agreement
    7. Execution of the agreement

    Hiring a lawyer for separation agreement is the best way to go about it.

  4. How much does a separation agreement cost?

    The separation agreement cost majorly depends on two factors: the Court fee and the lawyer fee. The court fee is the same for all. However, the solicitor who will make your financial separation agreement can charge you on an hourly basis or have a fixed case rate.

    You may ask the payment medium of your lawyer when choosing to get one for yourself.

  5. What should a separation agreement include?

    A legal separation agreement is highly valuable to protect your assets and property. Therefore, you should thoroughly think, analyse and then draw a separation agreement. Deeds of separation document must include the following things:

    1. Child custody
    2. Child support
    3. Division of marital assets and debts
    4. Visitation
    5. Spousal support or alimony

  6. Is a separation agreement legally binding?

    The separation agreement is not legally binding as of now. However, it is a legal form of document that can be challenged in court, and a case can be prepared based on its conditions.

    It is usually seen as any other form of contract that you make for your business. That is why it is suggested to get such agreements made by a professional solicitor to cover all important aspects required in the document.

  7. Does a separation agreement need to be signed by a lawyer?

    Yes, a separation agreement does need to be signed by a lawyer where more than one witness is present. It is done so that the other partner can not claim such an agreement was made without their knowledge.

    There is a separation agreement for unmarried couples and married couples. Married couples can use this agreement as a tool to present their divorce case in court.