Our Family Solicitors understand that dealing with separation and its effects on children can prove very difficult. Sympathetic legal advice from a specialist Family Solicitor at an early stage can put your mind at rest and help you understand your available options.
Whether separation looks likely to be permanent or on a trial basis, our Family Solicitors can help by formalising details of the separation in a Separation Agreement or Deed of Separation. A Separation Agreement is a legal document recording arrangements which the couple agree on.
It usually contains details of any initial financial agreement and may include any agreement with regard to the former matrimonial home, who pays the mortgage, maintenance and where any children may live. It can help to clarify issues and avoid any misunderstanding at an early stage.
Worried about relationship breakdown? We offer a FREE initial phone call phone call, and FREE 30 minute appointment for all aspects of family law advice.
Do they have to be long and complicated documents?
Some Separation Agreements are simple and concise, whereas others are far more complex. The complexity depends on what you and your former spouse decide to agree on. Separation Agreements become more important when it comes to money – especially when it comes to splitting assets, occupation of the family home or paying maintenance.
Can I get a separation agreement if we have just been living together?
Yes. Both married and unmarried couples can get a Separation Agreement – which creates the terms upon which you and your former partner have agreed to separate.
What is judicial separation?
As an alternative to divorce, couples can also obtain a Judicial Separation – a process similar to divorce but which leaves the couple legally married.
Click here to find out more about judicial separation
Going through divorce but still living together? 5 tips to make everday life more bearable
If you are in the process of getting a UK divorce yet you and your spouse have to reside under the same roof, then life can be pretty tough.
However here are five tips to consider to help both of you survive during this difficult period. You might want to put them into a formal written agreement – so there is no misunderstanding between you.
• Tip 1
Agree on your day-to-day living arrangements. This is important for separating couples – so that neither of you do anything which, aggravates the situation. For example, decide where each partner is going to sleep, work and relax. The aim is not necessarily to stay out of each other’s way, but to avoid the time where conflict is most likely.
• Tip 2
Agree on who is responsible for different household chores and bills. It may be the case that you have now separated your finances, but you should still come to an agreement as to where to money for bills is going to come from. Everyday chores should be divided – and both partners should resist relying on one another for food or care.
• Tip 3
It is important to consider the future care of any children involved. It is never appropriate to create an atmosphere of resentment and distance if there are children living in the home with you. Children are sensitive and this kind of strained atmosphere can be really hard on them – and even damaging in the long term.
Where children are concerned it is normally best to avoid separating everything in your day-to-day life. For example, although it may be necessary to sleep in separate rooms, separate dinners and relaxing arrangements may be disruptive to the children. However, the most important thing is to not reflect your feelings about your partner or the stress of the divorce on to the lives of your children.
• Tip 4
Arrangements for selling the family home. Where necessary, try to agree a plan for selling your property. If the property is being viewed, make sure that either you or your partner is available to tidy the internal accommodation and show people around.
• Tip 5
Agree on what is acceptable and unacceptable social behaviour from both of you. For example, going out on a weekday evening and having respect for the partner that has work the next day. It may be a good idea to agree on what happens if one or the other finds another partner, for example that it may not be acceptable to bring that person back to the shared home.
Still can’t agree? Family mediation can help too
If you are unable to agree on any or just some of the above points then a family mediator can be really helpful on reaching an acceptable compromise solution.
Click here to find out more about family mediation and how it could help you.
During the mediation process, both partners will have an opportunity to voice exactly what they want, and what their personal concerns with the arrangements are. The mediator will use this information to help the parties reach an agreement. The presence of an independent and unprejudiced mind can prove invaluable for seeing through murky conflicts between resentful parties.
Don’t forget – our family law team offer FREE initial phone advice and a FREE 1st 30 minute appointment on all family law issues.
Is a separation agreement the same as a postnuptial agreement?
No, the two are different – click here to read about the differences with postnuptial agreements