What is a separation agreement?

A separation agreement is a legally binding contract, agreed on and signed by both parties on a voluntary basis, to resolve the issues surrounding a separation.

Separation agreements are usually drafted by solicitors. Although this is technically not required, in our experience matters are a lot easier if both parties have their own solicitor to assist them in negotiations. Aside from the solicitor’s experience in drafting such agreements, having a solicitor involved also prevents the risk of the parties getting sidetracked into emotional or legally irrelevant issues between themselves. It also makes the agreement safer from challenge at a later date and so helps to cement the full and final settlement that separation agreements typically aim to achieve.

A solicitor cannot act for both parties in a separation agreement. If only one person has a solicitor involved, experience and common sense tells us that they will get the best information, the best tactical advice and ultimately the best deal. Should one party choose to "save money" on legal expenses, then they do so at their own risk and, very probably, cost.