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When to use a separation agreement

A separation agreement allows you to agree the practical details of a separation, whether it is temporary or potentially more permanent. It gives everyone involved certainty over issues such as where both parties (and any children) will live, how costs such as mortgage payments will be paid and anything else you need to agree for a successful separation.

This type of agreement is increasingly common and can make life much easier for everyone, helping to avoid confusion and disagreements over the practicalities of your separation. Settlement agreements are legally binding, so it is important to give careful consideration when deciding if you need such an agreement and what to include in it.

When you might need a separation agreement

A separation agreement can be used under any circumstances when a couple have agreed to separate, however, they are most commonly used in two main situations.

  1. During a trial separation – If you and your partner have agreed to a trial separation to give you time to sort out the issues with your relationship and see if it can be saved, a separation agreement can be essential. It can give both partners certainty over issues such as where each of you will live, what will happen to any children you have and how your finances will be dealt with, allowing you to focus on repairing your relationship if possible.
  2. As a prelude to divorce/civil partnership dissolution – If you and your partner have agreed to separate with a view to getting divorced or dissolving your civil partnership, a separation agreement can allow you to agree how issues such as living arrangements and finances will be handled in the short term, until a more permanent agreement can be reached as part of the divorce/civil partnership dissolution process.

What to include in a separation agreement

Exactly what you need to cover in a separation agreement will depend on the circumstances and what issues there are that you specifically need to agree on.

Common concerns that will typically be covered include:

  • The timetable for the separation i.e. how long it is expected to last initially
  • Where both spouses/civil partners will live during the separation
  • Where any children of the relationship will live
  • How the mortgage or rent on any shared property will be paid
  • How any other shared costs, such as bills, will be paid
  • What will happen to any joint saving, investments or other shared assets

When entering any legally binding agreement, such as a separation agreement, it is essential to have the right legal advice and support to ensure your interests and those of your loved ones are protected at all times.

Crisp & Co’s family lawyers in London and the South East have extensive experience creating separation agreements for couples facing a variety of different circumstances, helping to make separation easier for everyone involved.

To find out more, speak to one of our expert family lawyers now by calling 020 3797 4952 or use the enquiry form below to request a call back.

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