A separation agreement is an agreement between two individuals that were previously married or cohabiting, who then undergo a separation (live apart). It helps them to manage and divide their joint assets. It covers the division of everything involving children, such as child care, custody and access, as well as property and shared finances.
A separation agreement is a voluntary agreement based on two parties that can reach a mutual decision on how to divide up their assets. It does not necessarily mean that the couple will divorce, but is a plan for managing their joint assets amicably. This article will look at some of the reasons a separation agreement might be a good idea, and when it’s advisable to seek other forms of legal counsel.
If You Are In Agreement
The key part of a separation agreement is that both parties must agree to the division of assets. This means that you should be able to come to a mutual agreement on sharing:
- Child care, custody, and access
- Debt repayments
- Pension assets
- Spousal support.
If you believe a mutual decision can be reached then a separation agreement might be right for you. If your partner is not taking negotiations seriously, or has initiated litigation or divorce proceedings, then a separation agreement will not be the right path. Kerry Fox Family Law can advise on the best legal steps for you to take for your separation.
It Makes The Process More Amicable
It is inevitable that separation is going to be an emotional and difficult time. If you are on fairly good terms with your spouse, a separation agreement can help you both reach a constructive conclusion about splitting your assets. Legal counsel can help both parties stay informed on shared finances, property value and child care obligations throughout the separation process. Reducing the stress associated with a separation can help you stay on good terms with your ex, which is particularly important if children are involved.
There’s Lots To Unpack
Whether you’ve been married or cohabiting for one year, or ten, there are many financial assets that become intertwined. Marriage and cohabiting is complex, and the separation process is also quite a difficult thing to navigate alone. With the help of independent legal advice from Kerry Fox Family Law, you can gain support in going through the separation process. Separation can be quite an emotional time, and legal advice can take some of the stress out of the negotiation process.
The Process Is Less Complicated
With the help of Kerry Fox Family Law, you can help your separation process move more quickly and smoothly. When both individuals seek legal advice, the negotiations can take place through your legal counsel. This means that you don’t have to worry about the complexities of valuing your assets, and get help navigating the paperwork involved when dividing financial payments.
It Is More Official
If none or only one of the separating parties seek legal counsel, it risks jeopardizing the conclusive nature of the agreement. If at any point one of the parties decides they do not agree with the separation agreement, it may get disregarded if only one of the participants had a legal advisor. When both parties seek legal counsel it signifies that both of them understood what they were agreeing to, and makes it less likely that it will be opened up again for discussion.
Valuing Assets Is Not Always Straightforward
Getting your financial assets divided up and valued is not a straightforward process. You might need to get a property independently assessed, or get a handle on your retirement benefits. With the help of legal counsel, you can gain support in reviewing and valuing your finances. An independent legal counsel can critically appraise your ex-spouse or partners assets. This is particularly useful if your ex or current partner runs their own business or has their own independent assets. It can be harder to do yourself without bias as a separation can be an emotionally challenging process.
It Can Help When You Have Kids
If you are separating but also share children, the division of assets becomes even more complicated. Independent legal counsel can help ensure that both parties can mutually agree on time spent parenting, where the kids stay, and how their upbringing is managed. If the separated couple later decides on divorce, then a separation agreement is a solid part of making this process more manageable for children.
You Protect Yourself
A separation agreement is a confirmation that neither party needs to live together. It is a concrete date of the relationship ending, and a mutual division and management of shared funds. The benefit of this is it also offers you some legal protection. Your ex-spouse, at a later date cannot allege that you have left them (or vice versa). Although a separation agreement isn’t legally binding, if it has been fairly negotiated between two parties with legal counsel, the court will uphold reasonable separation agreements.
Looking To The Future
Are you and your partner considering a divorce? If so, a separation agreement can pave the way to a more straightforward divorce process. Entering into divorce proceedings later down the line without a separation agreement can be difficult. After a separation agreement, both parties are clear of their financial or parental obligations during the separation. It can pave the way for a more amicable and less costly divorce.
Come To Kerry Fox Family Law
At Kerry Fox Family Law, we can provide independent legal counsel and advice for individuals undergoing a separation. Our expert team of professionals can help you navigate property valuations, child custody, and asset division.
Together, we can help you and your ex-partner reach an amicable end to their partnership. Contact us for a free initial consultation and advice on initiating a separation agreement today.