What is a Deed of Separation and how much does it cost?
Posted on 8th October 2019
When you have separated from your spouse or partner, you may want to put in place a written agreement, without the need to go through the Courts. You may also want to ensure that something legally binding is in place, without the need for finalising matters straight away through the process of divorce.
Our family solicitors understand that life is often not so clear cut, and in situations such as these, you may find that a Deed of Separation will provide the legal certainty that you’re looking for, without dealing with the finality of divorce proceedings or child contact proceedings in the Court.
What is a Deed of Separation?
A Deed of Separation, is a legal Deed which can be drawn up to specify a range of things following a separation. For example, it may include information on any of the following:-
Living apart without any interference from the other partner or spouse.
Any maintenance that one party has agreed to pay the other to help with their, or the children’s, living costs (although this may be agreed through another agency, such as Child Support Agency).
Any agreements about the division of any assets, such as any jointly owned property, bank accounts, savings, shares and debts.
Arrangements for contact with the non-living with parent for any shared children.
A Deed of Separation can be established as a temporary measure, whilst your divorce is being commenced, or it may be a more long-term solution whilst you decide if things are really over.
Are there any benefits of a Deed of Separation?
Whatever the reason is, a Deed of Separation can be a good document to have in place, as it can help make the divorce process much easier, if the time comes.
Also, a Deed of Separation will give you some certainty with regards to your future, and can help stop any worry and misapprehension that may be associated with the unknown of your separation.
When can a Deed of Separation be used?
A separation Deed may be useful when you have split from your spouse or partner, and don’t want to officially finalise the relationship, yet. Similarly, it may be something that you and your partner want to put in place if you weren’t actually married, but want the security of having an agreed, written legal document.
Do me and my spouse need to make the Deed together?
No. Our team of family solicitors can only take instructions from one of you, whether that be over the ‘phone, at one of our offices (Lancaster, Garstang and Longridge), or by email. When entering into a Deed of Separation, it’s important that both parties take, or at least are given the opportunity to take, independent legal advice. Our team, therefore, cannot advise you both.
Does the separation Deed still remain valid if we then divorce?
If the Deed is drafted properly, it is likely that the Court will consider these terms and not interfere with them during the divorce.
Likewise, to make sure your agreement with your spouse is still legal once you have divorced, you may wish to consider entering into a financial Consent Order. You can find out more about Consent Orders, here (insert link for blog about Consent Orders).
Can I draft my own Deed of Separation?
Whilst this is possible, it’s important to be wary of approaching this task yourself, as you may find that you leave out wording of key importance to your future. You may also find that the agreement that you reach, coupled with the wording that you use, is subject to interpretation.
That’s why it is always advisable to get your local family law experts to deal with the drafting of the Deed for you.
Our fixed fee for drafting a Deed of Separation is £500.00 plus VAT, which includes the initial appointment, drafting the Deed based on the terms agreed between you and your partner, arranging for signature of the final Deed and providing you with copies of the same.
You can get the ball rolling by completing our enquiries form, here, or you can give us a call at your local office – 01772 783 314 (Longridge, Preston), 01995 602 129 (Garstang, Preston) or 01524 581 306 (Lancaster).
Are there any drawbacks to having a Deed of Separation?
One problem with Deeds of Separation is that they can be harder to enforce in the Court that a Court sealed Order.
As well as this, you may find when finalising matters through a Consent Order, that the Court does not think the provisions are fair. As the separation Deed has not been formalised through the Court, it is still possible for a Judge to overrule the provisions and change the agreement reached. However, they would only do this with good reason, such as if there was an issue with the terms of the agreement being implemented, or if it was unfair on one party.
What would be considered fair for a Deed of Separation?
Without going through the financial position of both you and your partner/spouse, it can be hard for our local family solicitors to advise you on what is fair and reasonable. However, as a general rule of thumb, if there are no children to the relationship, a 50/50 split could be considered quite fair. If, like in some relationships, one of you earns significantly less than the other, it may be that they will receive more, or if there are children, the live-with parent may receive more, as arguably their needs are more.
What if we end up getting back together?
In these circumstances, our team of family solicitors would advise you that if you get back together and co-habit for more than 6 months, the terms of the Deed would be fairly irrelevant anyway, as you may wish to start over.
However, if you get back together for a period of one night, this may not affect how the Deed has been drafted. You can check with our team if you are unsure.
For top quality legal advice at affordable prices, contact MG Legal’s team today, here, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MG Legal – Your Local Solicitors
Tagged as: Financial Matters, Lancaster Family Solicitors, Solicitors Preston, Your Local Solicitors
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