Following separation, if there are children of the relationship, a priority for the parties is usually to sort out where the children will reside, the nature and extent of contact which they will have with the other parent and any financial contribution to be made by either parent towards the maintenance of the child. These matters can be resolved by agreement between the parties, with the assistance of a solicitor, and incorporated into a written agreement called a Separation Agreement or a “Minute of Agreement and Separation.” Sometimes parties can attempt to reach agreement informally without legal advice and in these circumstances they may be underestimating the extent of their legal rights.
A Separation Agreement is a bespoke agreement drafted to meet the needs of the parties and can deal with resolving the financial aspects of the separation by providing for how the matrimonial property is to be divided. The law states that matrimonial property should be shared fairly. This generally means equally although this can be deviated from in some circumstances. With a Separation Agreement, the parties can exercise control over their own affairs without the need for Court intervention. Once signed and registered a Separation Agreement will be binding on the parties and can effect a clean break between the parties allowing them to make plans and move on. This may be a preferable route for parties who are able to reach agreement. It would then be possible for them then to divorce in a more straightforward and cost-effective manner, reducing stress.
If you have a query or wish for some advice please make an enquiry or contact one of our offices directly and a member of our team will be happy to assist.