Separating Informally

Published: 18th April 2011
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If you and your partner are married, you can separate by an informal arrangement. You will need to inform some or all of the people listed under heading Who to inform when your marriage ends.



However, any informal arrangement made when you separate may affect future decisions if you do ever go to court.





What's Included in a Separation Agreement?



When preparing to draft the separation agreement each party must produce full and frank financial disclosure, showing documentary evidence of their assets and liabilities. Each party exchanges this information with the other. Then the discussion takes place and hopefully an explicit separation agreement can be drawn.



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 Support Agency in the future does not count legally





Do I have to Financially Support my ex?



If unmarried, neither partner has a legal duty to support the other financially either during or after the relationship. However, a separation agreement might include a point that states, for example, that you will continue to provide financial support to your ex unless they start living with a new partner.



What are the advantages of a Separation Agreement?



The principal advantage is that is allows parties to reach agreement in relation to financial (and other) issues without having to go to Court. Such agreements can also serve to provide evidence that the parties have actually separated and that they consider the marriage is at an end. This may be helpful if proceedings for divorce are commenced at a later stage.



Judicial Separation vs Separation Agreements



Unlike separation agreements in which the Court has no involvement, judicial separation is dealt with through the Court. The procedure is similar to divorce; however, judicial separation does not actually bring the marriage to an end. It provides evidence that you have formally separated which could be helpful in any future divorce proceedings. It allows you to formally regulate your financial affairs by way of a Court order since the Court have powers to make the same orders that are available on divorce and those can be varied or enforced.



Separation agreement , divorce help

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