Some separating couples are simply not ready for a divorce to bring their marriage to an end or for a dissolution of their civil partnership. Others wish to avoid having to accuse their ex-spouse or partner of either adultery or unreasonable behaviour.
If so, waiting is the only option.
The risk of waiting is the lack of financial certainty or security. Although the only way to achieve absolute finality and certainty is divorce or dissolution, there is another option that provides a degree of protection – the separation agreement.
Put simply, these are agreements that a couple can enter into, setting out how their assets should be divided and whether there should be any ongoing financial support. They can also be used to agree how a couple will divorce if they are to do so in the future.
It is important to understand that these are not binding. However, if there has been full disclosure of all the financial circumstances and each party has received independent legal advice then they can carry significant weight.
A separation agreement is an option we always consider when taking on a case and, if appropriate, can guide the client through the process striking a balance between what they are trying to achieve emotionally whilst trying to provide as much financial certainty as possible.