A couple may decide to separate but not immediately feel the need to get a divorce. This does not mean, however that they should not take legal advice and put their separation on a legal footing. Not doing so can lead to quarrels over household bills, possessions, how best to deal with joint assets and the best arrangements for any children involved. Whilst a couple may part as ‘friends’ initially and feel that they can trust each other, doubts and problems can arise as time passes, circumstances change or new partners come into their lives.
Getting a separation agreement
A separation agreement, also known as a Deed of Separation, records who is to have what and what the parties’ responsibilities are. The purpose of the deed is for both parties to come to an agreement on how they would like their assets dealt with in any future divorce proceedings and could therefore avoid the cost and inconvenience of court proceedings at a later stage.
Before preparing a separation agreement, each party must produce full and frank financial disclosure, with documentary evidence of their assets and liabilities. This information is exchanged and a discussion takes place between the parties so that an explicit separation agreement can be drawn up.
A couple may be able to agree the division of assets between themselves and ask a divorce lawyer to write up the agreement by preparing the Deed of Separation.
If the couple are not able to agree they may each appoint a family lawyer to advise them.
Drawing up a separation agreement
Woolley & Co can help in drawing up a separation agreement and provide advice on the terms of such agreements. Call 0800 321 3832 to arrange a telephone appointment with one of our family law experts.
Read The Legal Implications of Marriage to better understand why it's important to make your separation legally binding.