FAQs: Separation agreements


What is a separation agreement?

A separation agreement is a written agreement that can be entered into by a cohabiting couple whose relationship has come to an end. Separation agreements can be used by heterosexual and same-sex couples who have been cohabiting. A separation agreement is different to a cohabitation agreement, which is entered into prior to or during the period of cohabitation.

What is contained in a separation agreement?

Separation agreements can cover a broad range of matters relating to the parties’ finances and property, including:

  • How those assets will be shared at the end of the relationship
  • Who has responsibility for any ongoing financial commitments
  • Whether either party pays financial support to the other

Can separation agreements cover matters relating to children?

If there are children of the relationship, the separation agreement may also cover matters to do with the children, including their living arrangements and the time they will spend with the non-resident parent.

What if you can’t reach an agreement?

It is advisable for the parties to try to reach an agreement amicably. However, if this is not possible, the parties may try mediation or consult a family law solicitor. A family law solicitor should be consulted if there are significant financial assets and/or children.

Are separation agreements enforceable?

If you have signed a separation agreement but your ex-partner is not abiding by its terms, you should consult a family law solicitor. Your family law solicitor may advise you to take the matter to court. A court can make orders requiring your ex-partner to carry out the terms of the agreement.

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