A separation agreement or ‘Deed of Separation’ is often used as a precursor to divorce. You and your spouse or civil partner may not yet be absolutely sure that you want to divorce. Or you may not be able to establish the necessary grounds for divorce but wish to live apart. In these circumstances you can reach an agreement on finances and child arrangements to cover the interim period before either of you issue a divorce petition.

Is A Separation Agreement Suitable For Me?

A separation agreement might be suitable in the following circumstances:

  • You need time to decide whether or not to divorce or dissolve a civil partnership but want to ensure there is a clear agreement on financial matters and the children while you make up your mind
  • You have been married or in a civil partnership for less than 12 months and are unable to divorce under the legal grounds for divorce. These require a couple to have been married for at least 12 months before applying for a divorce
  • You don’t want to introduce blame to the breakdown of your relationship. Unless you allege adultery or unreasonable behaviour you can only divorce following two years separation (if you both agree) – five years separation if you don’t agree. A separation agreement can formalise financial arrangements and child matters until you are able to present a divorce petition.

A separation agreement is not the same as a judicial or legal separation, which is a formal process that requires an application to court. If you obtain a legal separation you are still married but not required to live together. Couples that, for religious reasons, do not wish to divorce or couples that need more time to consider whether a divorce is right for them sometimes go down the path of judicial separation.

Contents Of The Agreement

One of the advantages of separation agreements is their flexibility. It’s up to you to decide what to to deal with in the agreement. Matters covered might include:

  • Responsibility for mortgage or rent payments
  • Residence: who remains in the family home and where will the children live
  • Sale of family home and division of proceeds
  • Division of financial assets, including pensions
  • How to split jointly purchased items
  • Responsibility for debts
  • Maintenance payments

Is A Separation Agreement Legally Binding?

A separation agreement is not enforceable in the same way as a court order. But if both parties have been completely transparent about their finances and have received separate, independent legal advice a court is likely to follow the terms of the agreement in the same way as any contract. Of course the court will not uphold any unreasonable terms in the agreement.

If you do decide to divorce, a properly drafted separation agreement will often speed up the process and potentially reduce your legal costs. If you and your spouse or civil partner are happy with the terms and there have been no major changes in your circumstances since you drew up the agreement, it can be used as the basis for a formal consent order. For advice on divorce and separation please call us on +44 (0) 20 7430 8470.

Got a question? Ask us now…

Kindly complete the form below to send an enquiry. Your message will be sent to one of our solicitors. Discretion is guaranteed.

Your Information

  • Consider including information such as: the name of your spouse (if relevant), the country you live in, the background to your problem.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Over 2000 FREE
consultations and counting…

Our free consultation can help you more clearly understand the legal issues relating your case and what your options are to move forward.

Request your free consultation

Or send us an enquiry

Really appreciated Brookman's advice and support. Most lawyers charge extortionate fees just for an initial conversation but not Henry. Thanks for all your advice and time.

Jul 2022   Chloé

I had a consultation with the partner Henry Brookman. I can absolutely recommend him, he seemed knowledgeable, up to date and patient. I have found him to be straightforward in the answers he gives and down to earth. 100% recommended.

Jun 2022   Michael P

I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending Henry Brookman. His advice came in promptly when solicited, and was excellent. He is a thoughtful and very professional lawyer. He understood perfectly well the issue I presented him with, and gave me excellent advice in a family law related matter.

May 2022   Philip Hands

From my first contact with the firm I was treated courteously and promptly. I was offered a pro bono meeting shortly after making contact. Mr Brookman is clearly a very experienced professional and in our meeting he gave me some well considered and objective advice about my rather complicated situation which spans more than one jurisdiction.

May 2022   Julian Peachey

I had an initial consultation with Henry Brookman regarding prenuptial agreements and found him to be very helpful and knowledgeable.

Mar 2022   Simon Brooks

I had a free telephone consultation yesterday with Gavin Yeung. He could not have been more helpful and reassuring as he calmly and patiently worked through my situation to provide me with clarity and piece of mind at a time it was really needed and emotions are running high.

Mar 2022   'K M'

I spoke with Aziz at Brookman Solicitors on the phone for an initial consultation and he is one of the friendliest lawyers I have met. He is clearly very experienced as he patiently explained me all the concepts and processes which are quite daunting for someone in my situation, and then focused on the actual questions I wanted to ask... I would highly recommend Aziz and Brookman Solicitors.

Feb 2022   'R'

I am grateful for Henry Brookman and his team for support they provided to me during very frustrating time of divorce. They respond promptly to any request. I felt more confident after I started the process with them. Henry listened carefully to me and took quick actions on my case. I highly recommend this team of real professionals even for non-UK citizens.

Feb 2022   Sezim Beksultanova

I had online consultation with the partner Henry Brookman today. I was very happy with the service. I found him to be very insightful, knowledgeable and provided sound advice, as well as being kind and patient. It was a very comfortable discussion and he sent an email detailing our discussion very quickly discussing in our meeting in depth. I am amazed by the service we got just from a free consultation. I would highly recommend these solicitors!

Jan 2022   Shirley Christopher

We spoke at length and at no point felt like he was rushing us and we felt very comfortable. After our discussion we were also quickly sent an email detailing everything we were discussing in our meeting in depth. I am amazed by the service we got just from a free consultation. I would highly recommend these solicitors!

Dec 2021   Tina

I was fortunate to spend an hour running through a few questions with Natasha Slabas. She was quick to grasp the points raised and proposed a sensible way forward. Would recommend

Dec 2021   Nick Powell

I cannot praise the professionalism and courtesy too highly. The advice given in a very complex divorce matter, was clear, concise, enlightening and inspiring.

Nov 2021   Mary Barn

I contacted Henry Brookman because of the complex international aspect of my divorce and I’m very glad I did... Henry took his time explaining all the pro’s and contra’s... I now have a much clearer view over the situation and feel more confident going forward. I’m very grateful for the excellent advice I’ve received and not feeling rushed during the meeting.

Nov 2021   'A B'

Talitha offers sound advice, asks the right questions and advises you with what you need to know not just what you want to hear. I have no hesitation in recommending her services.

Sep 2021   Anu Vidyarthi

Henry took the time to go through all the details of my separation thoroughly. He was very clear on what my options were and what I needed to do to have a seamless agreement with my ex. Thank you for all your help!

Aug 2021   Sandeep Cina

Google Reviews
Ask A Question

Contact Us

If you have questions, contact us now, we can help you.

Enquire Now

Or call us on +44 (0)20 7430 8470