It is a fact that every marriage will go through bad spells. Life gets on top of us and our relationships deteriorate. Negativity becomes the central part of life and that word starts to come up – divorce. But there is something to consider before you reach that stage – it is called a separation agreement. So, which is the right path for your situation?
What is a separation agreement?
A separation agreement is what you can use if you haven’t decided if you want a divorce or not yet. It is also a great way to help with divorce if things go down that route because a lot of the financial stuff is already sorted out. And as anyone who has tried for a cheap divorce and failed will tell you, sorting out the finances can often be what causes the most problems.
Some of the details laid out in a separation agreement include:
- Who gets to pay the mortgage, rent and household bills
- Who stays in the family home or what happens if it is sold
- Who gets to pay debts, loans and overdrafts
- What happens to investments, savings and other assets of the marriage
- Who gets items purchased jointly including cars and furniture
- Child maintenance payments and where children will live as well as parental access
Why use a separate agreement?
One of the big things about separate agreements is they can make for an amicable and quick divorce if you both decide to take the next step. You can get on with filling out the divorce forms because all the important stuff has already been decided. This makes for an easy divorce that will cost a lot less in legal fees as well – and that’s always a big win for everyone.
If you do decide to go down the route of a divorce, then a consent order can be issued. This makes the agreement legally binding and removes the need for a court hearing. But because separation orders aren’t legally binding, if you both decide to try again then the order will simply be put to one side.
Separation agreement or divorce?
There are a few situations where a separation agreement can be the solution. Maybe you aren’t sure if you want to divorce yet but want to organise your joint financial affairs. Or maybe you are in the timeframe where you can’t divorce – say you have been together less than 12 months for residents in England and Wales. Whatever the case, if the marriage or partnership is in trouble, this kind of agreement may well be worth it for you both.
If you need help with a separation agreement, call The Divorce Manager on 0800 294 0452 or book with the link below.