Q&A: Legal options for Separation Under One Year

A. There are other legal options available for separating from a partner under one year such as a “Separation Deed”. A Separation Deed formalises a couples’ separation by way of written agreement and sets out financial arrangements during the separation period. It offers assistance to those who feel that a formal agreement immediately following a decision to separate is appropriate. 

The Separation Deed will include: the purpose of the Deed, the parties’ intention to separate and live apart and will specify a separation date, details of any children and child arrangements, details of financial arrangements upon separation and it can also agree a future date upon which either party can issue divorce proceedings. A Separation Deed can outline any agreement reached between the parties in relation to how the marital assets will be divided both upon separation and within any subsequent divorce proceedings. This will involve a process called financial disclosure.

In relation to a subsequent divorce, it can specify who will apply for the divorce, any agreement as to costs and that the Respondent intends to co-operate with the divorce. If the circumstances do not warrant a Separation Deed, the parties can wait until the elapse of the one year rule and then issue divorce proceedings.

If you would like further advice, please contact Jane Tatlock at Hegarty Solicitors on 01733 295619 or email jane.tatlock@hegarty.co.uk.