Deed of Separation
These are also known as Separation Agreements. If a married couple wish to separate and they can agree the terms upon which they wish to live separate and apart they can enter into a form of Contract called a “Separation Agreement”. Both parties must consent to the terms of separation. It is advisable that both parties swear Affidavits of Means before entering into a Deed of Separation. This is a document that sets out their assets, income, debts, monthly outgoings and pensions. A Deed of Separation is a legally binding contract setting out the each spouse’s rights and obligations with respect to the other.
Issues that can be dealt with in a Deed of Separation include:
- Custody and access arrangements in relation to any dependant members of the family.
- Maintenance arrangements
- Division of family property and assets including what will happen with the family home.
- The debts and liabilities of both parties.
- Taxation issues of both parties.
- Succession rights of both parties.
A Separation Agreement cannot deal with matters in relation to pensions as the Trustees of Pension Schemes are not bound by the terms of a Deed of Separation.
Once parties have entered into a Deed of Separation they cannot issue proceedings in the Courts for a Decree of Judicial Separation. The parties can however apply to Court for a divorce where they can satisfy the necessary criteria.