A Separation Agreement is a formal document, in the format of a Deed, that you and your spouse/civil partner can enter into to set out the circumstances of the separation. Again, this agreement does not legally end the marriage/civil partnership, and divorce/ dissolution proceedings would still need to be issued if you later decided you wanted to legally end the relationship.
The agreement can be useful for couples who are unable to petition for a divorce/dissolution at the time of separation, or who do not wish to straight away, for example if they have not lived separately for two years and none of the fault facts of either adultery or unreasonable behaviour apply.
It is important to be aware that a Deed of Separation Agreement is not 100% binding and cannot prevent the Court from making such financial orders as it sees fit in any later divorce/dissolution proceedings. The Court in those proceedings could decide that the terms of the Agreement should be upheld in full or in part. Alternatively, the Court could decide due to a number of factors that the agreement is not binding, and the Court could make such financial Orders as it sees fit. Due to these factors, it is important to take independent legal advice about the terms and effect of a separation agreement before deciding to pursue this route.
To obtain advice from Rowlinsons, please telephone 01928 735333 and ask to speak with the family department.