Separating with a separation agreement

Who to inform when your marriage ends
June 27, 2016
Show all

Separating with a separation agreement

A separation agreement is a written agreement between a couple who intend to stop living together. It sets out how they wish to sort out financial arrangements, property and arrangements for the children. Examples of what you might want to include in an agreement are:

  • to live separately
  • not to molest, annoy or disturb the other partner
  • to provide financial support (maintenance) for the other partner. A separation agreement would normally say that maintenance will stop if the partner starts living together with a different partner. Any agreement not to apply to court in the future for financial support does not count legally
  • to provide financial support (maintenance) for any children of the relationship. Any agreement not to apply to a court or to the Child Maintenance Service in the future does not count legally
  • who the children should live and have contact with.

The advantage of a written agreement is that it’s easier to make sure that you both understand what has been agreed. It also means that either partner can go to court to change the order in the future. It is advisable to consult a solicitor when drawing up a separation agreement, but you should work out in advance the general areas you want to cover. This will reduce the legal costs. You may get help with your legal costs.

For more information about help with legal costs, see Help with legal costs