For some couples, legal separation may be an alternative to divorce or an interim step to allow time to decide if they want to end their marriage or civil partnership. We can advise on separation agreements, also known as a deed of separation.
What is legal separation?
Legal separation recognises that a couple are no longer living together and enables them to put in place some formal agreements about issues such as finances and child arrangements, although they remain legally married. It can be suitable for people who are not yet sure if they want to divore but need some time apart, for those who do not wish to divorce for religious or cultural reasons, and for those who have been married for less than a year.
It’s a good idea to get specialist advice if you are considering a legal separation, so that you fully understand the implications and what rights you and your spouse will have.
What is a separation agreement?
A deed of separation, or separation agreement, is a contract that may be suitable for those entering into a trial separation or who want to separate but don’t yet want to divorce. It can be used to set out arrangements for finances, property, and children and reduce the chance of disputes in the future.
Deeds of separation are not legally binding under family law, but an agreement may be enforceable as long as it complies with contract law. It may also be used as evidence of your intentions during any future divorce proceedings.
Can cohabiting couples get a separation agreement?
Couples who aren’t married don’t need to apply for a legal separation if they split up, but they can use a separation agreement to set out arrangements for any children or shared property and finances. It is important to remember that it will only be legally enforceable as a contract if it complies with contract law.
Contact us to discuss your case with a member of our separation and divorce team.
Reasons for divorce: every divorce is different When it comes to the reasons for divorce, our divorce and finance team will be the first to tell you that no divorce or separation is the same. Every person has their own unique story and whilst well-meaning friends and...
Dividing assets in a divorce When you’re going through a divorce, you might well have an idea in mind of how you’d like to see any assets split. Very often, we find that clients assume that a fair division of assets in divorce means an equal split, with each party...
Chartered Legal Executive and Senior Associate Anita Laws leads on divorce and financial matters in the family team at Cartridges Law. Anita began her ILEX studies as a mature student and then joined Cartridges Law in 2003. She started as secretary to a partner in the...
The rules around divorce are changing. New no fault divorce rules will only require the Applicant(s) to state that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, without assigning blame to either party.