What is a separation agreement and what are its benefits?

Have you been looking into getting a separation agreement but not sure what one is exactly or how it works? We’ve written a jargon free post to help you get your head around them.

First of all, what is a separation agreement?

In a nutshell, a separation agreement is a document used by a couple who are separating to determine how any joint assets and any outstanding responsibilities will be split between the individuals.

So why use a separation agreement?

Throughout a relationship, couples can accumulate a large amount of joint assets and responsibilities. These could be larger things such as a house and mortgage payments, or perhaps smaller household items. Trying to divide these assets and responsibilities can become tricky and tense. You will be guided through this but still have your say on what is fair, making the process smoother. It can also help you to set precursor action points such as selling the house.

A separation agreement can be used as either an alternative or a precursor to divorce. This may be because you don’t want to go as far as divorcing but need to divide your assets and responsibilities, or because you can’t start legal proceedings for divorce yet. If the separation develops into divorce, the agreement can be used as proof of date of separation and can be used as a basis for the court’s decision on the division. However, as the agreement isn’t legally binding, the court does have the discretion to overturn the agreement but this is unlikely if it is deemed fair to all people involved, including any children, and there haven’t been any notable changes in circumstances.

Is it just for married couples?

In short, no. An unmarried couple may have equally acquired a large amount of joint assets and responsibilities throughout the course of their relationship. As these won’t have been officially joined through marriage, a separation agreement is a formal process to divide these.

How do you get started?

Although you can write your own separation agreement, it is advised that you seek legal help as if it were to go to court, having been written by a solicitor would make it more likely to be upheld and it will also ensure you’ve had the right legal advice about the document.

Still a little unsure? CP Law’s team of expert solicitors can help you make the right choices when it comes to your personal circumstances. Speak to a member of our team today, contact us on 0345 2413100 or email us at mail@cplaw.co.uk.

Meet Marianne Tyndall

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