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Separation - an alternative to divorce?

When a couple decides that their marriage is at an end they may have issues to resolve such as who will live in the former family home, how often will the children see the absent parent and so on, but they may not want to get divorced immediately.  In those circumstances it may be beneficial to have a Separation Agreement drawn up dealing with those issues and allowing matters to be set out in a legally binding document.

When preparing to draft the separation agreement, each party must produce full and frank financial disclosure of their assets and liabilities to the other.  If an agreement is then reached a separation agreement can be drawn up and signed by each party.

The separation agreement includes such information as  where you intend to live, how you intend to split any assets of the marriage, who will live in the family home and so on. It may also dictate who will pay for what and have information relating to the arrangements for any children

An agreement of this kind is not a court order but is a legally binding contract. It  be helpful in obtaining a quicker agreement on the division of assets should a divorce follow the separation. The separation agreement can be shown to the court for its opinion on whether there was an agreement and whether that agreement should be followed in a final Court Order during divorce proceedings.

If a couple have successfully agreed to a division of their family assets and the agreement has worked well for a period of two or so years, this could form the basis of a Consent Order (the financial order) in subsequent divorce proceedings.

The time it takes to finalise financial affairs at the end of a marriage can be significantly reduced when a separation agreement has previously been drawn up.  It is likely that costs will also be reduced.

It should be borne in mind that a Separation Agreement is not paramount when dealing with the divorce at a later stage.  The Court does have the power not to follow parts of the agreement if they feel it is not fair or reasonable or that the parties needs will not be met.

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The materials appearing on this website do not constitute legal advice and are provided for general information purposes only. No warranty, whether express or implied is
given in relation to such materials. Hodgsons Law shall not be liable for any technical, editorial, typographical or other errors or omissions within the information provided on this website, nor shall we be responsible for the content of any web images or information linked to this website. Jo Hodgson is the sole director of Hodgsons Law.