By Kim Mapperson, Solicitor

Separation can be hard enough without the added stress of trying to deal with the financial aspects
of a break up. A Separation Agreement can help separating couples deal with matters fairly and
amicably.

A Separation Agreement is a formal agreement made between the parties which will outline any
agreement further to separation. This agreement can be made by married couples, civil partners or
cohabiting couples in the unfortunate event that their relationship breaks down.

The Agreement will set out how the parties will share the assets and liabilities they have. This will include how the parties will deal with any jointly owned property for example.

Separation Agreements can also often cover the agreed care of the children of the family. It often
includes what amount will be paid in child maintenance and can outline the time the children will
spend with each party.

Married couples can make this agreement if they have decided to separate without the need for the
intervention of the courts. This agreement is prevalent where married couples are not yet ready or
don’t want to formally divorce.

Separation Agreements are not technically legally binding although they are a formal legal document
if drawn up correctly. It is advisable that both parties take independent legal advice upon the terms
of the agreement. A Separation Agreement is not a Court Order and the court would not usually be
involved in drawing up this agreement. The agreement will however constitute a contact and can
still be challenged in the same way as any other contract. The terms of the agreement may,
however, carry weight with a Judge if ultimately proceedings are issued.

The terms of the agreement can be transposed into a Consent Order, which is sealed by a Court in
divorce proceedings at a later date.

The agreement is usually reached through negotiation between the parties or using family mediation
and the terms are incorporated into the Agreement. It is important and advisable that a solicitor
undertake this work for you to ensure it is drafted correctly.

 

If you would like any further information or wish to discuss matters arising from a separation please contact our family law team on 01630 411226.