Separation Agreements- What are they & When should you get one?
What is a separation agreement and why should you get one?
A separation agreement is an agreement that’s drawn up by a couple who are temporarily or permanently ending their relationship but are not ready to divorce.
The purpose of a separation agreement is to agree & document the division of assets, finances, other matters regarding who is to pay the mortgage, and other outgoings.
A separation agreement also makes the divorce process much easier, as the agreement will cover how you will divide your assets and finances, something that normally causes a lot of strain on both parties.
5 main benefits of gaining a separation agreement
- The agreement can cover a wide variety of topics including finances, assets, & maintenance.
- A separation agreement will offer you legal protection if you were to divorce.
- If you were to divorce, the divorce process will be much easier and will make your relationship a lot more amicable.
- Both parties have to agree to the contents of a separation agreement which means that if you were to divorce, it would be difficult for one party to claim a large amount more than had been agreed in your agreement.
- The agreement is flexible and can include whatever you wish, you are also able to make changes to your agreement later if needed.
When should you get one?
A separation agreement can be used for a variety of situations. Primarily separation agreements are used when a couple has decided to separate and want financial certainty but are not yet ready to divorce.
Other situations include:
- Entering a trial separation where you and your spouse will be living apart but want to remain married.
- Permanently ending a relationship but want to remain legally married to them.
- If you are getting divorced but are wanting an agreement on finances and asset before officially divorcing.
A separation agreement can be submitted during the divorce proceedings to simplify the legal process.
How do separation agreements work?
A separation agreement is a contract, so like any other contract is legally binding if drafted correctly.
This means that if either party fail to follow the contents of the agreement, the other party is able to take legal action against them.
To enforce a separation agreement you will be required to take the matter to court. This, however, does not mean that you will need to attend court in person, just that the agreement needs to be looked at by a judge.
Speak to one of our professional advisors today on 01793 384 032 to receive free friendly & professional advice.
Are separation agreements legally recognised?
A separation agreement can only be legally binding if it’s drawn up correctly by legal professionals and both parties receive separate and independent legal advice. The agreement has to be deemed fair to both parties and signed.
Do you need a solicitor to draft your separation agreement?
A separation agreement needs to be drafted in the correct way, so unless you have been legally trained it would be very hard to draft your own legally accepted agreement.
Therefore, it’s advised that a family law solicitor drafts your agreement to ensure its legally binding.
Legally you do not have to seek legal advice before signing a separation agreement, however, it’s recommended to ensure that the agreement is amicable and fair. This ensures that if your agreement was taken to court, one party cannot claim they didn’t understand what they were signing.
Instructing a solicitor to draft your agreement doesn’t need to be costly. Our family law solicitors will draft your separation agreement and advise you on how to sign for just £299 fixed fee! Saving hundreds compared to a high-street solicitor.
What can be included in a separation agreement?
A separation agreement can include a variety of clauses including the following:
- Maintenance payments: both child and spousal maintenance
- Child custody and visitation schedules.
- Division of physical assets, finances & debt
- Where each spouse will live and who will take over possession of the family home or if the house will be sold how will the money be split
- How to split joint bank accounts
- How the rent/mortgage/household bills will be split until everything is finalised.
Disadvantages of a separation agreeement?
Like with many legal agreements, if taken to court the judge has the authority to overrule an agreement if they have good reason to, ie. the agreement is deemed unfair.
However, if drafted correctly and both parties have obtained legal advice it’s unlikely that the agreement will be changed considerably.
Order Your Separation Agreement Today
Our separation agreements are drawn up by highly qualified law solicitors with many years of experience. They will manage your separation agreement from start- finish for one fixed fee with no hourly or hidden charges.
You can be sure your separation agreement will be drafted correctly, giving you peace of mind if your agreement ever needed to go through court.