Creating certainty whilst living apart
Providing you with security and peace of mind about the consequences of separation
Most commonly, a separation agreement is entered into when a married couple is experiencing difficulties and considering divorce, but does not want an immediate divorce, or neither party is in a position to issue a divorce petition.
Under current legislation, a couple can only obtain a divorce decree by consent if they have already been separated for at least two years.
However, new legislation is proposed to introduce a “no fault” divorce. The timing of that change in the law remains uncertain.
The main asset of a relationship is often the house where the family lives which may or may not be in joint names, often subject to a mortgage. If one of you is to leave the home – even for a period of “trial separation” – you will want to know:
• Who will pay the mortgage?
• Will the house have to be sold? If so, when?
• Will one of you have to pay maintenance to the other to ensure that essential expenses are covered?
• Will you become entitled to any benefits or tax credits?
• How do you make the arrangements legally binding?
We can advise you on all aspects of the separation, including property rights, interim maintenance and longer-term separation agreements.
We can draft appropriate agreements and ensure that they are legally binding, as far as is possible under current legislation.
We can also advise you upon separation agreements drafted by others.