When it comes to formal separation, couples generally follow one of two key routes. Whether you part ways using a deed of separation or separation agreement or you secure a judicial separation, our expert family law solicitors HOMS Assist, will guide you through the process. Here we outline the main provisions of both routes to separation:
Deed of Separation or Separation Agreement
This is the most straightforward route to separation. Both parties agree to the terms of their separation and sign a separation agreement, which then binds them contractually. Before signing the deed, both parties should swear affidavits of means detailing their income and assets. Remember however, that any terms relating to pensions may not be enforceable against the pension trustees or legally binding. This is why many separating couples seek a consent order for judicial separation where terms are agreed.
In a judicial separation, one spouse applies, and a court order is eventually made. Matters are not always adversarial, however. If the parties have agreed to matters, terms of settlement or consent can be drafted and made an order of the court by agreement. A court hearing is only required if matters cannot be agreed. A court will grant a judicial separation only if it is satisfied that proper provision has been made for any children and each party to the marriage.
Note: In light of a Supreme Court determination, couples may obtain a separation agreement or a decree of judicial separation—but not both.
Do not worry if you are not sure which is the best option for you: Contact us to secure expert advice tailored to the unique circumstances of your case.