Deciding to put in place a formal separation agreement is a sensible way of creating some stability and certainty at an inherently worrying and upsetting time.
Putting an agreement in place is especially useful where the parties have agreed to separate for an extended period before going ahead with a divorce, and where a couple own property and have children.
Potential reasons to enter into a Separation Agreement
- To record the fact that the parties have separated, which may have an impact on the division of the finances in the event that the parties proceed with a divorce at a later date;
- To assist in ascertaining at an early stage what the assets and liabilities are and how to divide these in the event that the parties proceed with a divorce at a later date;
- Dealing with ongoing financial commitments during the separation period such as mortgage payments and other outgoings; and
- Where there are children, ensuring that an agreement is in place to meet their ongoing needs and establishing new or interim living arrangements. This may include setting out the arrangements where the parties continue to live together under the same roof or where one party vacates the family home, as well as when and for how long each party will spend time with any children of the family.’
Are Separation Agreements legally binding?
Separation Agreements are entered into voluntarily between the parties, but they are not strictly legally binding and do not have the weight of a formal financial consent order on divorce.
However, a written separation agreement can be presented to the court as compelling evidence of the parties’ intentions at separation in later divorce proceedings. In certain circumstances, the terms of the Separation Agreement can be considered strong evidence by a Court.
Can one lawyer act for both parties?’
No, separate legal advice is needed for each party.
If you require advice in relation to a separation agreement or regarding the legal implications of separation, please contact a member of our experienced family team.’