Arranging your finances is just one thing to consider when going through a divorce. It can be difficult to decide whether to separate from your partner or to go through the process of divorcing through the Courts. Either way the decision is not an easy one; as one thing on each party’s mind is “am I going to be protected financially”.
In circumstances where the parties have good reason to delay entering into a divorce, for example, they are waiting two years to pass before proceeding with a ‘no fault’ divorce, or they have been married less than a year, entering into a Separation Agreement may be a good option for you. Separation Agreements give married couples choosing to separate the required time to assess their options in full.
Separation Agreements are private contracts between two parties and are available to cohabitating couples as well as married couples or those in a Civil Partnership. They can be constituted to cover many aspects of a couple’s financial arrangements, including who is to pay the bills on the marital home, the division of any property and how the couple’s money is to be split upon divorce.
The costs of a Separation Agreement tend to be lower than the costs of a financial Court Order during divorce proceedings and, therefore, may be more appropriate for married couples who cannot afford the cost implications of arranging financial matters through a divorce.
Unlike a divorce, however, it does not permit a clean break between the separating couples and quite often circumstances change over time. Should this happen whilst the agreement is in place, the disadvantaged party may apply to the Court for a financial order in any event. Although parties are bound by the terms of the Separation Agreement, they are not necessarily permanent and certainly do not override any Jurisdiction of the Court.
As such, it is strongly advised that separating couples carefully consider their desired outcomes before entering into a Separation Agreement. Although Separation Agreements can be useful in providing clarity and/or hope that matters will be settled in the future, for some people, divorce may, overall, be a more cost-effective way forward.
If you require any further information about Separation Agreements please get in touch.
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