A Separation Agreement is a legally binding contract setting out each party’s rights and obligations to the other. The terms of the agreement are reached either through mediation or negotiation through solicitors.
If there is no real prospect of agreement between the parties or if the breakdown of the relationship is such that this process would not be successful then you should instruct us to negotiate on your behalf. Unlike mediation where there is one mediator who sees the couple together, each party must have their own solicitor to ensure that they receive proper independent advice and representation.
The document drawn up and signed by both parties is called a Separation Agreement or sometimes “Deed of Separation”. It should deal with the following important issues:
- The payment of maintenance for the upkeep of the financially dependent spouse.
- The agreement to live separate and apart.
- Custody and access arrangements for the children.
- The sale or transfer of properties into the name of either spouse as agreed.
- The agreed adjustment for the transfer of portion of either spouse’s pension to their spouse’s designated pension account or policy.
When the agreement is signed, it can be made a rule of Court by a further application to the relevant Court. The protection this offers ensures that all the terms agreed upon concerning payments or the children of the marriage can be legally enforced. If agreement can be reached reasonably quickly between the parties and a Separation Agreement drawn up, it is cheaper and less stressful than taking a Court case. Many couples formalise their separation in this way.
We act and advise in the negotiation of separation agreements, the rights and entitlements of either spouse, and the protections available by law in the case of breach. We can negotiate the best terms for your settlement and carefully and sensitively guide you through what is already a difficult and stressful experience. If we feel the best terms are not available to you, we have the experience and resources to maximise your entitlements through the Court process.