Often couples have decided to separate but are not yet ready to contemplate divorce proceedings. In these circumstances, they may wish to record the terms of the separation by way of a legally binding contract known as a 'Separation Agreement' otherwise known as a 'Deed of Separation'.

In addition to recording the date and fact of the separation (which may be relevant to the timing for future divorce proceedings on 'grounds' of 2 or 5 years' separation) the Agreement typically sets out the terms of any financial settlement, including property, money and maintenance payments. It can also record agreements reached in respect of the children for example with whom they will ordinarily live and contact arrangements.

Additional Information

Separation Agreements can be drafted and prepared quite quickly and do not have to be expensive. However, they do need to be carefully and correctly drafted. Such agreements can be upheld in subsequent divorce proceedings but it is important to demonstrate that both parties have made full disclosure of their respective financial and other circumstances and have had the benefit of independent legal advice or had the opportunity of taking legal advice.

Separation Agreements may be appropriate for unmarried couples.