If your marriage has broken down, you might want to put a Separation Agreement in place before you start divorce proceedings. This allows you to formalise any arrangements regarding your money, children and property.
To make a Separation Agreement, you need a family solicitor. If you are looking for a family lawyer in the Slough area, we can direct you to a solicitor who specialises in Separation Agreements. We offer this service completely free of charge.
What is a Separation Agreement?
A Separation Agreement is a contract that is drawn up when a married couple separate. It allows them to set out in writing what arrangements they have made. This could include
- What will happen to the family home
- Who will pay the mortgage
- Where the children will live, and when they will see the other parent
- How savings and debts will be divided
- How possessions will be split
- Who will keep any pets
If the separated couple do later divorce, the terms of the agreement can be used as the basis of their divorce settlement. The court will assess whether the arrangements are fair to each person. If so, it can be made legally binding with a Consent Order.
Who is a Separation Agreement for?
A Separation Agreement is for people whose marriage has broken down, but who do not want to get divorced just yet. Or perhaps, they cannot get divorced. This might be on a permanent basis – for instance, due to religious reasons. Or it might be on a temporary basis – for instance, they have not yet been married for one year, so cannot begin divorce proceedings.
A Separation Agreement is also for people who can agree on the details of their separation. If there are any disputes about money, property or childcare arrangements, a Separation Agreement is not suitable. You must come to a mutually agreeable solution.
Benefits of a Separation Agreement
There are lots of benefits to a Separation Agreement. These include
- Clarity for everyone involved, as the decisions are set out in writing
- A more amicable separation
- An easier divorce process, because all the arrangements have been made
- A solution for those who cannot start divorce proceedings straightaway, or at all
A Separation Agreement is not legally binding. However, if each person seeks independent legal advice, and the contract is drawn up properly, they are taken seriously by the courts. Even so, if you are not happy with the arrangements when you come to divorce, or the court believes the agreement is unfair, it can be amended.
Solicitors for family law Slough
To get a Separation Agreement, you need to get specialist legal advice. This is for two reasons. Firstly, dividing assets following the breakdown of a marriage can be extremely complicated. A family law solicitor can help you negotiate a deal that protects your best interests.
Secondly, you must get independent legal advice regarding your Separation Agreement before you sign anything. Otherwise, it will not stand up in court.
Family law Slough solicitors
If you would like to speak to a local Slough solicitor about a Separation Agreement, contact us at Solicitors Near Me. We can put you in touch with a specialist family law solicitor. This comes at no cost to you.