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Separation Agreement Solicitors

If you are separated, or thinking about separating, but are unsure about whether you are ready to divorce, it may be sensible to put a separation agreement in place to protect your interests.

Taking advice from a specialist separation agreement solicitor at an early stage is really important to help you understand what the potential issues may be and what your options are.

Any arrangements you put in place at the outset of your separation must be carefully considered. This includes initial agreements in terms of housing, finances and, where relevant, arrangements for children. Such arrangements can all have an impact on your immediate legal rights and responsibilities, as well as potentially shape the scope of any future divorce proceedings.

You must therefore make those initial decisions regarding separation agreements very carefully and should do so with the benefit of having had legal advice from a separation agreements solicitor.

At Harrowells, our specialist separation agreement solicitors in York, Clifton Moor, Haxby, Easingwold, Thirsk, Pocklington and Malton have extensive experience of helping a wide range of clients each with very different family situations. We combine legal expertise with our team’s practical and supportive approach to help you separate on the right terms.

Even if you are unsure about wanting to separate or about a possible subsequent divorce, knowing your legal position can give peace of mind and clarity at what is the start of an often very emotional time.

Our services related to separation agreements

As well as advising on separation agreements, our specialist separation agreement solicitors can also help with matters such as:

Our separation agreements solicitors’ fees

At Harrowells, we will listen to what you want to achieve and outline the options available to you with regards to separation agreements.

We will explain the fees we estimate will be involved in dealing with your separation agreement right from the outset. We will discuss funding options with you so you are aware of what the likely cost a separation agreement will be to ensure it is affordable for you to obtain legal advice before we commence work.

Please note: Harrowells is not able to offer legal aid.

Separation agreements explained

Can spouses live separately without getting divorced?

Yes, you can, but until you have a divorce and financial settlement put formally in place, then either you or your spouse may still be able to claims against the other at any time.

What is a separation agreement?

A separation agreement (or legal separation agreement/financial separation agreement) is a document setting out what you have agreed about property, money, pensions and other financial ties between you. A formal separation agreement will be tailored to your circumstances and often also include arrangements for children and pets

What reasons are there to make a separation agreement?

A separation agreement can help to regulate the immediate aftermath of a separation if you are not yet ready to start a divorce. Whilst they are not legally binding, they are a helpful tool to have when reaching a formal financial settlement.

How do separation agreements work?

Pior to writing a separation agreement, you and your spouse should each declare your financial status and your solicitors will then help you to negotiate a ‘holding position’ until you decide to formally divorce. That position can be as short term or as long term as you can agree.

What should be included in a separation agreement?

There are many different example separation agreements which are likely to include a wide range of matters. Typically, the main points to consider are:

  • Where you both shall live
  • How any joint liabilities (such as mortgages/loans/finance) should be paid
  • Whether either of you needs ongoing monthly maintenance from the other

Separation agreement templates are likely to be available to use, but these are unlikely to be tailored to you or your personal circumstances.

How long do separation agreements last for?

There is no automatic expiry on an agreement.  Unless an end point or trigger event to terminate the agreement is included, it will either be brought to an end by the divorce or if there is a material change of circumstances which means that the original agreement is no longer fair or reasonable.

Are separation agreements legally binding?

No. They are contracts only and should be replaced as soon as possible by a Financial Remedies Order or Consent Order, which can only be obtain through formal divorce proceedings.

Can the terms of a separation agreement be enforced?

The agreement is a contract between you and your spouse. If drafted correctly, the terms can be enforced.

Is having another relationship during separation adultery?

Yes, if you have sexual intercourse with a person of the opposite sex whilst you remain married, that would amount to adultery. However, this is no longer relevant for any subsequent divorce proceedings as the law has now changed to remove the need to give reasons or assign blame for the breakdown of a marriage.

Will the terms of a separation agreement be changed if a couple later divorces?

The terms can be varied at any time by agreement. But, if one party is no longer happy with the separation agreement and decides to seek a Financial Remedies Order as part of a divorce, then the terms of the agreement can be varied by the Family Court.

Contact our specialist lawyers about separation agreements

Looking for clear, practical advice and support on any area of legal separation agreements? Our separation agreement solicitors in York, Clifton Moor, Haxby, Easingwold, Thirsk, Pocklington and Malton will be on hand to lend the expertise you need.

We are physically based in Yorkshire, but we regularly assist clients throughout England and Wales because of our recognised expertise and effectiveness in advising on all aspect of family law.

We are very happy to hold a meeting with you by phone or video call. For more locally based clients, we can meet you at one of our network of offices across North and East Yorkshire.

Contact us today to speak to a specialist family lawyer with the skills and experience to assist you.