Couples who have made the decision to separate do not always wish to apply immediately to the court for a decree of judicial separation or a divorce.
Their separation may just be on a trial basis to begin with, or for whatever reason they may not be emotionally ready to seek, either a judicial separation or a divorce.
They may however still wish to have a very clear understanding and agreement between themselves about precisely what arrangements are to apply in relation to their property, their financial assets, their incomes and their outgoings, and in relation to their children whilst they remain separated.
In these circumstances couples enter into what is called a Deed of Separation or a Separation Agreement.
It is very important that prior to the agreement being reached there should be full and frank financial disclosure between the parties of their respective financial positions.
This should be supported by complete documentary evidence verifying details of all the assets and liabilities, to enable both parties to take decisions with full knowledge of the entire relevant facts.
Once the disclosure process is complete discussions can then take place between the parties, sometimes directly between themselves, sometimes with the assistance of a mediator, and sometimes with the assistance of their respective solicitors in order to work out and agree the detailed terms of the separation agreement.
If you can manage to do much of the work yourselves this will substantially reduce costs. If you need assistance from a third party then using our Mr. Hirst as your mediator is the next most economical solution for you both.
The final separation agreement is just made between the couple and does not involve the court. Although this means that it is difficult to impose any sanctions for breaking the agreement, the existence of an agreement negotiated at arms length, after full financial disclosure is often very useful in helping to reach a swifter settlement.
If the parties do eventually turn to the court for a judicial separation or a decree of divorce,because much of the groundwork has already been completed, in terms of disclosure and verification of assets and liabilities.