What is a Separation Agreement?
Often when couples decide to separate they may not be quite ready to fully divorce or they may be unmarried partners.
However, a couple may wish to make a formal agreement and can enter into what is known as a Separation Agreement, sometimes called a Deed of Separation.
This document will cover basic issues often encountered during a separation. These can be financial arrangements, including how monies are intended to be divided, who has control over property and who is in charge of paying for what, as well as arrangements for any children involved and child maintenance. A Separation Agreement can also sometimes outline what the process should be when the time comes to file for divorce.
Is a Separation Agreement legally binding?
Separation Agreements are not legally binding. However, they can be used to protect you financially against a claim by your spouse for more money if and when divorce proceedings are filed. If an agreement has been in place and working for a long time and full legal advice was obtained before it was signed, it will be difficult for either party to convince the court to ignore it.
A court will have regard to the Agreement and may uphold the terms provided certain criteria were fulfilled:-
- Each party should take independent legal advice
- Both parties should give to the other full and frank disclosure of their financial positions
- The agreement should be entered into freely by both parties without any undue pressure or influence.
- The court is more likely to uphold the agreement if the terms are realistic and fair
If you think you might need a Separation Agreement or would like to discuss the matter with us, our family law team can be contacted by phone on 01942 246241. At your first appointment with us, we will explain any areas of concern. Our charges are competitive and we will be able to provide an indication of the likely cost of preparing an agreement for you at our initial meeting.