The advantages of making a separation agreement

27 February 2019 Family Law Wright & Crawford Solicitors

If you and your partner are divorcing, you may want to consider getting a separation agreement drawn up.

A separation agreement can also be used by couples who separate but who don’t wish to divorce or dissolve their civil partnership. Separation agreements can ensure both parties get their fair share from the relationship, allowing both you and your partner to amicably agree on the division of assets from your time together.

What is a separation agreement?

A separation agreement is a legal document which carries the same legal weight as a court order. While every separation agreement is tailored to each couples’ specific circumstances, they usually cover things such as who pays the mortgage, what happens to savings and who looks after your children – all without the need of going to the court.

The importance of being honest about finances

In order for your separation agreement not to be challenged in the future, you and your ex-partner must be completely open about your money. By doing so, each of you will know what the other party has by way of debt, savings, property, and investments. Being honest about your financial assets and liabilities will allow you to agree on who is responsible for paying what.

When should you make a separation agreement?

If there is high conflict in the separation

If you and your ex-spouse are struggling to have healthy communication with each other, a separation agreement will specify what is expected of you both during the period of separation. Having this legally documented will go a long way in eliminating the need for continued communication and further disagreement.

If you have children

Separating is made even more difficult when children are involved. By getting a legally binding contract in place, both parties will know their financial responsibilities to the child as well as custody arrangements. A separation agreement can help protect your parental rights for a child from the relationship and reduce the scope of any future conflict.

By setting out arrangements in a separation agreement, you will also provide your children with routine and structure following the breakdown of your relationship. A separation agreement will keep you and your partner out of any formal Court process which can be an extremely upsetting experience for children.

If you own property

For the vast majority of separating couples, the marital home is one of the most significant assets to divide. Separation agreements can deal with jointly owned properties as well as property that is in one party’s name.

On separation, you and your partner have several options about what to do with the property:

  • Sell the home and both parties move out.
  • One party buys the other out of the jointly owned property.
  • Keep the house and not change who owns it.

The agreement can also include provisions for dealing with any furnishings from the family home.

If your partner is ‘economically advantaged’

More often than not, one partner in a relationship is financially better off than the other. This can be because one party has given up work to look after any children from the relationship, or perhaps sold their own property to move in with their spouse. A financial imbalance in a relationship tends to instigate arguments. Having a separation agreement in place can ensure that both parties are satisfied with the division of financial responsibilities and one partner is not left with significant debts.

Contact our Separation Agreement Solicitors Paisley, Bearsden & Glasgow

If you are considering entering a separation agreement with your partner, it is imperative you get specialist legal advice and representation from a qualified family lawyer. To find out how we can help you, contact Wright & Crawford solicitors today via the online enquiry form