Whilst Separation Agreements are not legally binding, the terms will normally be upheld as persuasive evidence of the way you and your spouse wish to resolve your financial ties provided that you both provided full financial disclosure and received independent legal advice.
Separation Agreements are an effective way of recording agreement reached for both married and unmarried couples. A Separation Agreement will set out how finances will be managed during the period of separation and may also deal with how financial matters will be concluded upon divorce or dissolution. It can also address other issues, such as arrangements for the children and maintenance.
For married couples, financial matters cannot be formally resolved until divorce proceedings have been issued. There are a number of reasons why you may wish to delay getting a divorce, such as having a trial separation or waiting until you have been separated for 2 years so that divorce proceedings can be commenced on a no fault basis. However, you may not wish to leave financial matters outstanding during this time.
Unmarried couples cannot enter into a consent order. A Separation Agreement is therefore an effective way of providing evidence of the agreement reached which both parties can refer to.
Once divorce proceedings have been issued, a Separation Agreement can be formalised into a Consent Order. This is legally enforceable and dismisses all financial claims on divorce.
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