What is a Separation Agreement?

Understanding Separation Agreements

A Separation Agreement is a contract which a couple enter into following separation if they do not want to divorce but want to have a record of the agreement they have reached about how their assets/income/pensions are to be divided.

A Separation Agreement will often be signed if a couple do not want to divorce straightaway but there are financial transactions which need to be dealt with e.g. a house sale and division of proceeds and purchase of other properties.

A Separation Agreement is a contract which must follow contractual rules.  This means that an agreement entered into between a husband and wife, even if recorded in writing and signatures are witnessed by friends or neighbours, is rarely compelling evidence to a Court and that a husband/wife will be able to resile from the agreement.  A Separation Agreement is dependent upon there being an agreement financially.  If the other party will not co-operate in disclosing their financial position or otherwise negotiate in a way that you feel is reasonable, you may be advised to issue divorce proceedings.

Those who attend family mediation and do not wish to divorce may ask a solicitor to prepare a Separation Agreement confirming the terms of a mediated agreement.

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