When a relationship breaks down there are a number of reasons why a divorce may not be the first thought on someone’s mind. It is possible for spouses simply to live apart or, if they want the arrangement to be more formal, it is possible for one party to apply for a judicial separation. Whatever parties decide to do it is important that various issues such as children and finance are addressed. Even if you are not married it is important to take appropriate action if you are going to separate from your partner.
Whether or not you are married this is a complex area of law and it is in your best interests to contact our teams directly for specific advice about your particular situation.
A separation agreement is a formal written contract entered into by a couple who wish to document the financial agreement that they have reached outlining the financial consequences of their decision to separate. A separation agreement can save couples a considerable amount of money in wasted legal fees as well as saving you the trials and tribulations of a probable court battle. Where a financial agreement has been reached it can give both spouses a degree of protection if that agreement is recorded in a legal document. Such an agreement can go a long way towards avoiding legal action.
Whilst you can never agree with your spouse or partner to exclude the involvement of the court such agreements are normally upheld by the courts, unless there are good legal reasons for not doing so.. Where the terms of the agreement seem to favour one side against the other, it is important for both parties to obtain independent legal advice to avoid a claim by one party that they were under pressure to sign it.
There are straightforward agreements which deal with financial and maintenance matters for the spouse and any children. It is also possible to include arrangements for the disposal of the house by sale only and an option to include a timetable for divorce.
If spouses wish to have a formal legal separation but do not wish to go as far as a divorce then they do have the option of obtaining a decree of judicial separation. There are similarities with a divorce but also important legal differences. If you wish to consider this option it is essential to seek advice from our family team.
For more infomation please contact one of the following:
|Patrick Langrishe||Partner||Budleigh Salterton|
|Mark Arden||Senior Solicitor||Crediton|
|Ida Merrison - currently on maternity leave||Solicitor & Family Mediator||Exeter|