What is a separation agreement?
A separation agreement is an agreement between separated couples to regulate the terms of a financial settlement in contemplation of a divorce or dissolution in the future.
Why you might need a separation agreement?
If you do not have grounds for immediate divorce or have agreed to wait to divorce, you will not be able to obtain a financial order from courts outside of divorce / dissolution proceedings. In these circumstances you may need a separation agreement to regulate a financial settlement until you can obtain a financial order from court.
Are separation agreement binding?
A Separation agreement is a contract between separating couples to compromise financial issues. It will not automatically be binding on a court which must exercise its discretion to reach a fair and just outcome. A separation agreement will be considered as one of the relevant factors in the case. However,a court will not lightly permit the parties to depart from an agreement that has been properly and fairly arrived at with competent legal advice. In addition, if a separation agreement is challenged through the courts, the court will need to decide whether the agreement was invalidated by considerations such as duress, mistake, material non-disclosure or disparity of bargaining power.
How we can help
If you have reached an agreement to compromise financial issues following separation and do not intend to start divorce or dissolution proceedings, we can assist you with the preparation of a valid separation agreement. Alternatively, if you have entered into a separation agreement and wish to challenge it because you believe it was unjust or unfair, we can advise about the prospects of you successfully challenging the agreement.
Need further advice?
If you need more detailed advice about separation agreements call us on (01228) 829530 to arrange an initial consultation or request a free call back.