Separation Agreement Solicitors
If you are an unmarried couple who is separating, or you are married but not ready to officially divorce, you can help prevent future misunderstandings and disagreements by having a separation agreement drawn up by family law solicitors.
Also called a Deed of Separation, a separation agreement sets out the practical terms of dividing a household. It is unique to the couple to include anything they want it to. Providing both parties agree to the separation agreement, and all the information regarding assets and income are disclosed correctly, it will be upheld by a court and can help expedite the process if you decide to divorce in the future.
Benefits of a Separation Agreement
A clear separation agreement can assist in an amicable separation by explicitly setting out expectations and responsibilities of both parties. Mediation and collaborative law practice can help you find mutually agreeable solutions if you are stuck on any specific details, making your separation agreement something you have chosen rather than been directed to do by a judge.
Aspects your separation agreement can include are:
- Who will be financially responsible for the mortgage, rent, and other household bills if you are still living at the same property
- How debts, savings and assets will be divided
- Which parent children will live with, and how frequently they will see their other parent
- Whether one partner will pay maintenance to the other partner
- Issues regarding a business if it is owned jointly
The process of creating a separation agreement is less expensive and faster to arrange than a divorce. It does not require a couple to go to court which can help to prevent conflict and ill-feeling, and keep relations amicable.
A separation agreement is not as final as a divorce. You are still legally married and, as such, your partner may be entitled to make further claims. Although they are often upheld in court, it is not binding and can only be changed if both parties agree to the alterations. A court may still override any aspects of your separation agreement in the event you file for divorce.
Family Law Advice and Separation Agreements
Although a separation agreement is not legally enforceable, it is still a contract, and you should take family law advice from your lawyer. They can warn you of any pitfalls and considerations you may not be aware of, which is particularly important if there is a financial imbalance in your relationship, if your separation is acrimonious, or if your ex-partner is pressuring you to sign an agreement you have not had input in.
Alternatives to a Separation Agreement
A Deed of Separation only works if both parties are completely honest about the information they disclose – specifically financial details – and stick to the terms. If you do not trust your partner to uphold their side of the contract, then you may prefer to ask your family law solicitor about obtaining a Court Order. It is also possible that you or your ex-partner can petition the court for a change to the Deed of Separation if it was not correctly drawn up, if it is unfair, of if evidence shows one party has lied about the information provided.
Family legal advice is that you discuss your options with a solicitor who specialised in separation and divorce before making any decisions which could be binding.
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We offer an expert approach at a personal level for all our legal support. When dealing with family issues and family legal problems, our aim is to deal with each case in the least confrontational way possible, whilst still achieving the best results for our clients. We understand that when family issues arise and family relationships break down, real lives are affected, and the need for expert legal help and support is essential.