Separation agreements

Barker Son & Isherwood LLP


Phone 01264 353411


The finality of divorce or dissolution is for many former couples the ideal outcome. Where a relationship has broken down irretrievably, the best thing in most cases is for each to go their separate ways, on clear and certain terms.

However this can be a step too far for some, initially at least. They may not be quite ready to draw a firm legal line under their marriage or civil partnership but still need to separate. In that situation, a separation agreement could prove useful in framing the practical arrangements that need to be put in place while the parties begin to live their separate lives.

A separation agreement records things like who will live where, arrangements for the couple’s children and financial matters. These are essentials that allow life to continue for families that are separating. These types of agreements can also be useful in situations in which two people cannot wait for a divorce or dissolution to be finalised before putting terms of separation in place. That might be the case where the marriage has not lasted 12 months and so can’t yet be officially ended.

Although they are not legally binding, separation agreements can be upheld by the courts. If your former partner deviates from the terms, you could ask a judge to force them to comply. Otherwise, the courts are not usually involved in either preparing separation agreements or in seeing that their terms are carried through. This can be a good thing, as it avoids the adversarial theme that is so often a feature of the judicial process.

In our experience, where partners work together to draw up the separation agreement, they are more likely to stick to their side of the bargain. Of course, for many couples, the idea of cooperating with one another (often during what is an extremely emotionally challenging time) may be unpalatable; even impossible. As family law solicitors, we support clients through this and wherever possible, we help couples resolve their differences as amicably and constructively as possible.

To speak to us about separation, or any other family law issue, contact us on or call us on 01264 353411.  


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