Separation Agreement Solicitors

Irwin Mitchell is an excellent firm that is highly responsive and provides superb service.

Chambers & Partners, 2023

If you have decided to separate from your partner, a Separation Agreement could help you divide your finances and decide how you are going to live apart.

You may have shared assets to divide up, or want to make sure that your personal assets are protected. While this can be a difficult process, we have years of experience in dealing with family law, helping couples untangle complex shared assets, resolving disputes and helping people come to a clear understanding.

We can help you draw up a Separation Agreement that covers:

  • How shared assets are divided up, including property and business interests
  • How shared debts will be split up
  • Who has responsibility for repaying different debts and any other ongoing financial obligations
  • Who will live where
  • Whether there will be ongoing maintenance payments
  • Where children will live, when you or your partner will get access and how both of you contribute financially to their care

There may be many reasons why you are not ready to divorce - maybe you are not able to as you have not been married long enough, or are simply not ready to make that final step. Whatever your circumstances, we will deal with your case with care, sensitivity and clarity, making sure you get exactly the terms you want in language you can understand.

We are a national law firm with experience of high-profile separation cases, but always offer our clients a personal, one-to-one service. To find out more about Separation Agreements and how we may be able to help you, get in touch with a member of our expert team on 0370 1500 100, or contact us online and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

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Ros Bever, family lawyer
Ros Bever National Head of Family Law Meet the team

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Separation Agreement?

A Separation Agreement sets out how you and your partner want to divide your finances and responsibilities when you decide to separate, but are not ready to divorce. They can cover a wide range of issues, but what actually goes into one is entirely up to you and your partner. Common subjects that are covered include:

  • How debts will be divided between you and your partner
  • How much you and your partner will contribute to your mortgage, rent or household bills
  • How proceeds from the sale of your house will be divided between you
  • How to divide joint bank accounts and savings
  • Who your children will live with and other access arrangements
  • The payment of child maintenance
  • How to divide your personal possessions (your car, furniture, and sentimental items, for example)

Separation Agreements can certainly make the process of separation easier, which may be a particular concern when children are involved. Other advantages of getting a Separation Agreement include:

  • It provides clarity and certainty over your separation
  • It gives clear evidence that both you and your partner consider your relationship to have ended at this point - though it doesn't prevent you from getting back together in future
  • It enables you to negotiate an agreement at a point that suits you - you may find it more difficult to communicate at a future time especially if circumstances have changed
  • It can prevent arguments over assets that you may have received since separation
  • Fairly negotiated agreements will generally be upheld by the court if challenged in the future

A Separation Agreement doesn't mean you have to divorce - couples often find that a period of separation allows them to reconcile on better terms. However, if you decide to divorce at a later stage, a Separation Agreement can be used to draw up a Financial Consent Order, which becomes legally binding when the Decree Absolute is granted in divorce proceedings.

Sometimes, however, the financial settlement of a divorce differs to the terms of the Separation Agreement, as it's based on the situation at the point when divorce occurs - a Separation Agreement merely puts in place the terms of your period of separation from your partner.

For further guidance and to arrange an initial consultation, please call us on 0370 1500 100, or contact us online and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

What If My Partner Contests Our Separation Agreement Later On?

If your partner wishes to contest a Separation Agreement at a later stage, they will need to go to court to change the agreement and convince the court that they should not have to stick to its terms. While the agreement is not technically legally binding, a court would usually be expected to allow a reasonable Separation Agreement to stand.

The most common reason for contesting a Separation Agreement is where one of you believes the other was not honest about their finances. We have years of experience in helping clients make sure finances are fully disclosed when separating and we can help uncover assets that your partner may have tried to hide.

To talk to our experts and arrange a consultation, please call us on 0370 1500 100, or contact us online and we'll respond as soon as possible.

If We Subsequently Get Divorced, Does A Separation Agreement Lower The Cost?

A Separation Agreement can potentially lower the cost of your divorce as it may mean you don't have to go to court.

Although a Separation Agreement does not represent a final financial settlement as you can get in divorce proceedings, it can provide the basis for one if neither party contests it. This can certainly quicken divorce proceedings - and consequently reduce costs - when compared to a contested divorce.

Regardless of whether you later get divorced, it's important to work with specialist lawyers when drawing up a Separation Agreement. For expert advice, call us today on 0370 1500 100, or contact us online, and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

I live in Scotland, can Irwin Mitchell help me?

Our expert family law team works with a number of trusted partners to help our clients with family law issues in Scotland.

We’ll be your point of contact and manage the entire process for you throughout. You’ll get frequent progress updates and we’ll break down any legal jargon into plain English so you’re always in the loop.

To find out more about how we can help, give us a call on 0370 1500 100 or contact us online.

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