People who are already married or in a civil partnership can enter into a written agreement setting out what they intend to happen to their money, property and other practical issues as a consequence of their current or planned separation. This written agreement is called a separation agreement. Separation agreements are usually entered into by parties who are separating but who do not want to divorce or dissolve their civil partnership at that time, perhaps for religious or practical reasons.
Separation agreements are contractual agreements between parties to a marriage or civil partnership dealing with:
A separation agreement is a bespoke document drawn up for the two of you for your particular circumstances, so it can cover almost anything you want it to and can be tailored to meet your requirements.
In order to make the separation agreement as persuasive as possible in any future divorce or dissolution proceedings, you both need to disclose and set out your financial circumstances in full and take independent legal advice on the agreement and its effects. A separation agreement can be negotiated using mediation or more traditionally by using solicitors to talk to each other on your instructions. We will help you find the process most suitable for you.
A separation agreement can have a draft consent order attached. This enables it to be turned into a final court order if you decide to proceed with a divorce or dissolution, as long as circumstances have not significantly changed from those envisaged when the separation agreement was made.
Separation agreements are not binding on the court in the event of a later divorce or dissolution. Parties to a marriage or civil partnership cannot contract out of the court’s jurisdiction to make orders for financial provision upon divorce or dissolution. However, the existence of a separation agreement will be one of the factors that the court considers. A separation agreement may have a persuasive or even decisive influence on the outcome of either party’s application for a financial remedy, depending on the precise circumstances surrounding the completion of the agreement.
The court must consider whether the agreement is ‘fair’. Agreements are more likely to be considered to be fair if they are recent, if circumstances have not changed and if you both knew exactly what you were getting into when the separation agreement was made, both legally and financially, without undue pressure being applied.
This will generally depend on circumstances of your case and we will be able to provide you an estimate as to our fees once we have discussed your requirements with you.