If you’re not happy in your marriage or civil partnership, you might not be able to, or might feel reluctant to, divorce your partner. For many, a separation agreement is the next best thing, affording you space from your partner but with a mutual agreement in place as to who will live in your property, look after any children and how much maintenance will be paid. An agreement such as this is not currently legally binding, but it may sway the mind of a judge if the argument ever reaches court (for example, if you later decide to divorce).
Legal advice from a solicitor is vital before you decide to enter into a separation agreement. Ready to make an appointment now? Click here.
Divorce and Separation: the first 3 steps you should take
Going through a relationship breakdown can be a very painful & stressful experience, which is why Burt Brill & Cardens have put together our simple guide for anyone who is in the first steps of separation or divorce. Our guide is completely free to download and will take you through:
- The first 3 steps you should take
- The different routes available to you
- Our process and how we can help you through what can be a difficult time.
Why would I have a separation agreement?
Usually, people who enter into separation agreements are partners or spouses who have decided to separate but cannot divorce or dissolve their union as neither has been unfaithful or unreasonable within the relationship. They may also have decided not to take the final step of divorce but wish for some boundaries between them until they decide how to take their relationship forward.
A separation agreement offers resolution to any issues in the relationship and supports each party. If both parties are satisfied with the separation agreement, but decide to continue with a divorce, a judge will usually approve the terms of any financial settlement recorded in the Separation Agreement as part of the divorce.
How do I get a separation order?
If you’ve decided separation is the best step forward, we can draft an agreement that takes into account both you and your partner’s needs and wishes. You may want to complete a transfer of equity in relation to your home – and you and your partner will need to provide full details of your income, assets and liabilities.
Once all of the information has been obtained, we’ll send this to you and your partner (or your partner’s solicitor) for approval. You will then be offered clear, concise and accurate knowledgeable information based on your circumstances and how reasonable the agreement appears.
We can also help you negotiate the terms of the agreement, which can often be complicated and stressful. When everyone is happy with the terms, we will arrange for it to be signed. We can also help you and your partner work out the terms of a Separation Agreement through mediation or collaborative law.
A separation agreement is a contract and is subject to the usual rules of contracts. Those who sign it should consider it an important document, which must be adhered to. Both parties should receive independent legal advice before signing it and be completely honest to avoid accusations of fraud later down the line.
What happens if the agreement is broken?
If one or both parties breaks the agreement, it is akin to breaking a contract. The person who broke the agreement may be expected to pay damages to the other party.
If you and your partner have remained separated for two years and are happy with the terms of the separation, the agreement can be the basis for a divorce, if you wished to proceed. It can be considered a draft proposal for the order that must be submitted to the court upon divorce.
With over 125 years’ experience in helping individuals and their families, we are equipped with the knowledge to deal with all of the issues which must be considered when a couple, married or unmarried, go their separate ways.
Your consultation can be in person at our offices, over Skype, or by telephone, to discuss the divorce process, your wishes, and how we can put them into effect. We will listen to you and deal with your situation sensitively and confidentially.