Separation agreement lawyers
A separation agreement sets out your financial arrangements when you separate, enabling you both to live separate lives while you consider where your marriage or civil partnership goes from here.
Separation agreement advice
Talk to a family law expert todayContact us
What is a separation agreement?
They are also used by people who don't wish to divorce for religious reasons, or who can't yet divorce or have their civil partnership dissolved because they haven't reached the 12-month mark. set out your financial arrangements while you are living apart, and generally cover areas such as:
- Houses and property: Which of you will live in the family home and whether or not it should be sold
- Childcare arrangements: Where your children will live and what parental access and financial arrangements will be made
- Mortgage and bill payments: What proportion of these will you both pay
- Debts: Who will be responsible for clearing them
- Savings and investments: How these will be managed and divided if necessary
- Possessions: What will happen to joint possessions ranging from cars and artwork to furnishings and items of sentimental value
- Pets: With whom the pets will live with and what access the non-resident party will have
Is a separation agreement legally binding?
Separation agreements aren't legally binding in their own right. However, it is still a formal contract and in the event of a dispute it will carry a certain amount of weight in a court of law.
That's why we recommend that you use separation agreement lawyers to draw up any separation agreement. Our separation lawyers have the experience to understand the protections you need, and to draft the agreement as clearly as possible. This is important, not least because in the event that you do find yourself seeking a divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership, your separation agreement should be suitable for submission to the court where it can be made the subject of a legally binding consent order.
I want a divorce, why get a separation agreement?
There are three compelling reasons why a separation agreement can be a good idea, besides the fact that you can't seek a divorce or dissolution within the first 12 months of a marriage or civil partnership. For example:
- It gives you time for consideration: Many divorced couples subsequently remarry, having found that they were hasty in seeking the finality of divorce proceedings. Separating under the terms of a properly drafted Separation Agreement can give you both the time and financial stability to think before taking such an important decision
- It could enable a more amicable divorce: While the notion of a 'no fault' divorce is being discussed by the Government – this has yet to pass into law.
- It could cost you less: If your divorce is amicable and uncontested, we offer a service at £1,020 + £550 court fees.
If you want an immediate divorce, you may find yourself having to cite unreasonable behaviour or adultery as the reason for the breakdown of the marriage or civil partnership, which can be quite damaging, especially if you have children together.
However, the courts also accept two years of separation as a reason for a divorce or dissolution to be granted, and so a separation agreement can lay the groundwork for an amicable split in which neither party has to be blamed by the other to the detriment of family life in the future.
The best solicitors to fight your corner! I struggled with a nasty unmarried couple dispute alone for over a year before biting the bullet and paying for proper legal support. I had one previous experience with a cheaper less well known solicitor and I just felt completely let down and not a priority. But with Slater and Gordon, from start to finish, I felt supported 100% and valued. B L (family and personal matters case)
Matters were dealt with efficiently with a view to keeping costs to a realistic level and I am well satisfied with the final settlement she managed to achieve on my behalf. J B (family and personal matters case)
For anyone needing help with family issues I could not recommend Slater and Gordon highly enough. I always had the feeling I had the best looking after my interests and they certainly didn't disappoint. C I (family and personal matters case)