A separation agreement is a document that parties make when they want to stop living together as a couple. It can include arrangements for finances children and property. These can be entered into by couples who are married or unmarried.


Some married couples use a separation agreement prior to finalising any agreements reached in respect of a divorce. This is usually done where parties don’t want to issue divorce proceedings immediately and want to wait a period of two years. For more information on divorce please see our articles here (https://owenkenny.com/divorce-blog/).


Separation agreements are technically not legally binding however if they are drawn up correctly by an experienced family lawyers then it will still remain a contract. It can be used as evidence of the intentions set by the parties at the time. If the separating parties are married then the terms of the separation agreements can later be made into a Financial Consent Order which once approved by the court does become legally binding.


The weight which a separation agreement holds with the court will be depend on contents of the agreement and circumstances in which they were made. The agreement needs to be entered into voluntarily by both parties who have both had the benefit of legal advice. It will also be important that both parties have given and received full financial disclosure so that the terms of the agreement are fair and reasonable.


The court may not take into account a separation agreement on divorce if either party entered into it with no legal advice, if either of the party’s circumstances have changed significantly since it was drawn up or if either party was not fully honest about their financial situation at the time.


If you would like more advice on separation agreements then contact our family team on 01243790532 or email info@owenkenny.co.uk.