If you need legal advice on the law and legal issues regarding separation or have decided to separate and think you need a separation agreement, get in touch for a free initial discussion.
Often, for religious reasons or simply because a married couple do not want to immediately divorce or would rather do so on the basis of 2 years separation, they enter into a separation agreement.
The document will set out their intention to divorce on the expiry of the 2 year period and either can then petition accordingly, without having to place blame and with the others clear consent.
The payment of maintenance can be agreed and set out in respect of both a spouse and the children.
Such an agreement can make provision for the following:
The general principles of contract law apply to these agreements. First and foremost there must be a mutual intention to create legal relations. It is also paramount for both parties to seek independent legal advice, this will work towards the enforceability of the agreement in the event of dispute later as it will show they both had a full understanding of the terms and what they were entering into, having been advised as to their rights and obligations. This is also a clear indication that there was no coercion and the agreement was not entered into under duress.
Independent advice will also seek to ensure no argument as to mistake or fraud can be brought later.
Both parents will of course maintain their respective parental responsibility and will have to continue to make important decisions regarding the children together. Having an agreement in place will also not prevent either party from making an application under the Children Act if they deem it necessary in the future.
In an effort to save costs it is best for the parties to try and resolve all issues before the agreement is drafted, as this will reduce the amount of time any solicitor will take in drawing up the agreement. Typically, a separation agreement will cost starting from £750.00 plus vat. We always understand that clients want and need to understand what legal advice costs. However, every agreement is different, much depends on what is agreed in advance (because otherwise an agreement can go backwards and forwards between lawyers which will increase legal costs significantly it’s essential that you get the right advice. Getting things wrong can cost a lot more. Our commitment is always to keep costs of separation agreements as low as we can, adopting a practical approach and advice given by our experienced lawyers which also generally saves time and money.
Whether solicitors are used or not, each party should disclose to the other fully and frankly all their assets and liabilities, showing documentary evidence of the same. This will reduce any argument as to whether or not one party or the other is hiding information about their income and ability to pay maintenance for the other or their children.
Each party should also have independent separate legal advice from a solicitor, incorporating any details that had already been agreed and trying to resolve any other remaining issues between the parties. Each parties’ solicitor will act in their client’s best interest, making sure that every part of the agreement is legal and fair.
Get in touch if you need advice on any aspect of separating from your husband or wife or specifically legal advice on a separation agreement.