Sometimes, people experience significant problems in their relationships and want to separate but don’t want the finality of divorce yet, if ever. They often look for alternatives to divorce, one of which is a separation agreement.
Separation Agreements – what are they?
A separation agreement is a binding document agreed upon by both parties. It is normally used by couples who aren’t ready for divorce but still want to separate and it lays out the terms of the separation. Sometimes, this separation is only temporary, while other times it can lead to divorce further down the line. Separation agreements can also prove useful for those couples who are unable to divorce yet – perhaps if their marriage is less than one years old or they decided to base their divorce onto your separation – and have not lived apart for two years yet.
You and your spouse will normally seek legal advice when considering a separation agreement as it is important that they are drawn up properly. If your separation agreement is properly drawn up and you later decide to get divorced, provided you’re still both happy that it represents a fair settlement, it is likely that the court will agree to convert the terms of the agreement into a formal court order. However, if the agreement isn’t properly drafted, and was made without independent legal advice after full and open financial disclosure, then the court may refuse to approve your separation would. Getting the right legal advice is, therefore, very important.
Separation agreements can include a wide range of provisions that you and your spouse agree to be appropriate, and you can also change the agreement as long as you both agree to do so.
What can be included in a Separation Agreement?
A separation agreement can cover a wide number of issues – but more commonly include the following:
• Arrangements for your children while you are separated, including where they will live and how often they will see the other party.
• Division of your joint assets, including property, pensions and other finances.
• Maintenance paid by one spouse to the other, including child maintenance
• Agreeing that you will be living apart without interference from each other.
If you want advice on separation, or drawing up a separation agreement, get in touch with our divorce solicitors today.
For legal advice on Separation Agreements – call us today
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