What is a Deed of Separation?

A Deed of Separation is a written legal agreement between a separating couple, married or unmarried, who have decided go their separate ways. A Deed of Separation establishes the rights and responsibilities of both parties during the separation phase, addressing matters such as property division, maintenance, financial obligations and child arrangements.

What are the benefits of a Deed of Separation? (Married couples)

Some married couples do not wish to divorce immediately upon separation, but wish to have certainty as to what is to happen to their property, their finances and/or children going forward. A Deed of Separation can be extremely useful in that situation, as it avoids the separated couple having to issue divorce proceedings or ask the Judge to approve and seal any agreement between them, if they do not want to do so immediately after separating, although it does provide a clear framework with defined rights and obligations for each party.

A Deed of Separation is a mechanism for recording the separating couple’s intentions and can help provide clarity and a fair and transparent arrangement to enable parties to avoid potential disputes in future. The Deed can be made binding once divorce proceedings have commenced, by applying for the terms to be sealed within a Consent Order.

Unmarried couples

Cohabitants and unmarried couples are treated differently to married couples, as there are no formal proceedings to be instigated at the end of their relationship, unlike divorce proceedings. Instead, the parties will only need to reach an agreement as to what should happen to any joint property or assets and any children of the relationship and a Deed of Separation is a useful way of having that agreement in writing.

Proper legal guidance will help you tailor the Deed of Separation to your personal circumstances. We are here to help you and will ensure that you proceed with your separation period with the clarity and peace of mind that you deserve.

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Author: Esther Ifan

Published: 15/03/24