Many people seek our advice when they have concluded that the marriage has come to an end, but they may not wish to start formal legal proceedings right away. It is understandable that you may wish to take time to process what is happening and to fully consider the best way forward to dissolve the marriage and regulate your future financial arrangements. In these circumstances we can advise you on the option of entering into a Separation Agreement which can, among other things, provide for the division of your assets and provision of maintenance in appropriate cases. Such agreements can also provide that any future divorce and associated financial agreement will reflect the terms of the Separation Agreement, provided always that there has been no material change of circumstances.
It is important to note that there are various caveats and potential pitfalls in entering into a Separation Agreement and you should be fully advised by our specialists before reaching any final decision on the most suitable option in your case. You should also note that for a Separation Agreement to have the very best chance of being upheld by a court in the event of later dispute, both parties require independent legal advice and full and frank disclosure of the other party’s financial position. Manders Law is highly experienced in negotiating and drafting Separation Agreements.
For clients who perhaps have strong and deeply held ethical, religious or cultural beliefs that conflict with seeking a divorce there is the alternative option of Judicial Separation. Judicial Separation may also be considered by clients who wish to avoid divorce for practical reasons, such as loss of spousal pension rights. The process of seeking a Judicial Separation, while similar to divorce, does not end the marriage by divorce, but leaves the parties judicially separated. Before electing to proceed by way of Judicial Separation you should seek expert advice from our specialist team as there are disadvantages in that the parties will follow the same process, incurring the same costs as those occasioned on divorce, but will not achieve the finality of divorce or the ultimate security of a financial order made within divorce proceedings.