Separation Agreements

Separation Agreement Solicitors in Aberdeen & Stonehaven

What is a separation agreement?

A separation agreement, sometimes referred to as a minute of agreement,  is a contract where two separating parties set out their intentions to share matrimonial property and assets when their relationship ends. A divorce or dissolution isn’t final overnight; it takes time, so a separation agreement can be a good way to sort out your finances and divide your assets while you wait for it to come through. It is also useful for couples who want to separate but have not decided to get divorced or for those couples where religious beliefs prevent them from doing so. 

Why do I need a separation agreement?

When you were living together, you probably shared paying bills, mortgage or rent, and if you had children, parental duties. A separation agreement formally addresses your wishes and plans in the short term and outlines the arrangements for child maintenance and dealing with the family home and how any proceeds should be split in the longer term.

Is a separation agreement legally binding?

A separation agreement is legally binding, and following registration has the parallel power of a court order. This means that any terms contained within the agreement can be enforced in a comparable way if any party breaches its terms. Essentially, someone has greater protection by having a separation agreement than not having one, provided it has been drafted correctly and professionally.

What can be included in a separation agreement?

Separation agreements typically include a list of assets such as property, personal effects, financial assets, and responsibilities such as personal/joint debts and maintenance payments, parental rights and sometimes provision for divorce. 

It should clearly set out the basic principles under which all agreements should be made. This includes confirmation:

•    You are entering into the separation agreement of your own free will, and you have not been forced or otherwise coerced into agreeing to its terms.
•    That you and your ex-spouse/partner have provided full and frank financial disclosure of all your assets, debts, and responsibilities (as far as possible).
•    That you both agree the separation agreement includes everything, and neither of you intends to make any further claims following the completion of the agreement.

The separation agreement can provide a clause allowing for changes or variations in circumstances. These clauses tend to cover things such as what should be done if one party dies, breaches the agreement, re-marries/cohabits, or their income changes.

Can a separation agreement be enforced?

Because separation agreements are legally binding in Scotland, they can be enforced in the same way as any other court order, providing the agreement is properly registered with the Books of Council and Session. It currently costs £20 plus VAT to register a document and can be done by paper/post or electronically. Registration takes around three working days to complete.

Contact our Separation Agreement Solicitors in Aberdeen & Stonehaven Today

Separating can be challenging and stressful, but a separation agreement can help you move forward with confidence, knowing your future is secure. If you would like to know more about separation agreements, please contact our family law department, where we have skilled and experienced solicitors waiting to talk to you. Call us on 01224 581581 or complete our online enquiry form

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