The problems that arise in a marriage breakdown are many and varied and have the added difficulty of the emotional and social consequences for those involved, particularly the children.
An experienced Family Law solicitor can assist in a resolution of those issues by helping you reach an acceptable Separation Agreement.
Issues that will need attention in a legal separation are to do with the Family Home, the children, other properties, pensions, existing and future debt, financial and tax implications.
What’s in a Legal Separation Agreement?
A Legal Separation Agreement usually requires that both parties agree terms relating to issues such as:
- Maintenance payments in respect of any children.
- Custody and access for and to those children
- Ownership of the Family Home
- What happens to any other property that might be owned
- What happens to savings or other financial investments
- What happens on the death of either party
- What happens to rights arising under any pension
- It clarifies future tax allowances for each person
- It protects each person from future debts incurred by the other
Should you sign a Legal Separation Agreement?
If you have the advice of an experienced Family Law Solicitor , such as those at Neil J. Butler & Co., then you will have arrived at an understanding of the advantages of such a Legal Separation Agreement. They include:
- Because it has been agreed between you and your spouse , it is more likely to succeed than terms imposed by Court Order.
- It can often preserve communication which can be helpful in dealing with future issues especially regarding children.
- It is far cheaper than fighting through the Courts
- It is better to have an agreed structure with certainty than to have nothing
- It protects future property and succession rights
- It can allow a fair distribution of assets
- You both retain control over what you want to happen , subject to necessary compromise on some issues
It can often be helpful if the process of discussing these issues is facilitated by a person trained in family mediation. This can take several meetings by the parties with the Mediator, at the end of which an outline document is sent to the solicitors acting for either or both parties. Those Family Law solicitors then engage to draft a more complete Agreement, turning it into a legally binding document.
We at Neil J. Butler & Co. generally advise that such a document should also be made the subject of a Court Order so that in the event of there being any later problem, further Court applications can be made to ensure that the Legal Separation Agreement is adhered to.
This form of Legal Separation will only work if both parties are willing to go through the process in a constructive way. If one party does not wish to engage in these discussions, then the other party cannot force it. In that event an application for Judicial Separation would have to be made – see further information here
Alternatively , if you fulfil the required criteria , you may be able to apply for a Divorce. Click here for more.