If you are married or in a civil partnership and you are planning to or decide to separate, you may wish to consider entering into a separation agreement.
This type of agreement can be used to record arrangements of how parties wish to divide their property and assets, whether a party will pay or receive any maintenance, and it can also record how you wish to share responsibilities for the children. A separation agreement is regarded as a contract between two people, therefore it is governed by the law of contract. If the agreement is fair and entered freely by the parties, with each party having full knowledge of the other’s assets, it may be very difficult to displace.
Why choose a separation agreement?
A separation agreement is a good choice for those who are; not yet ready to divorce, those who do intend to divorce and wish to have their agreement recorded at the outset while they wait for their Conditional and Final Order of divorce, or those who are separating amicably and are in no immediate need of a divorce.
Is it legally binding?
Technically, a separation agreement is not legally binding, however a court will always give due consideration to a separation agreement and will in most cases respect an agreement reached by the parties, particularly if the agreement is fair and reasonable and has been written up properly.
- A court can depart from the arrangements laid out in the separation agreement, if it becomes apparent that:
- The arrangements were biased toward either party.
- One party was not given the opportunity to seek legal advice.
- The full extent of either parties’ assets was not disclosed.
- There has been an unforeseen change in circumstances.
When you initially separate from a partner, it might seem amicable at first, and hopefully, this will last, but in some instances circumstances change and this is where a separation agreement can be useful and safeguard terms you have agreed upon.
If you fail to come to an agreement, your partner might be able to make financial claims against you further down the line.
If you wish to discuss having a separation agreement, or need advice on any matters relating to a separation, including divorce and finances and issues relating to arrangements for any child/children, please get in touch so we can arrange a fixed fee consultation with one of our family specialists.