Our solicitors can make separation work for you if you are not ready to divorce, providing you with the resources and advice you need.

Separation can be viewed as a trial period to assess your relationship, or as precursor to divorce. In either case, it’s sensible to have a Separation Agreement to set out what will happen to your children, property and finances while you are separated. As experienced separation solicitors, we will give you practical advice and draw up an agreement that safeguards your interests while giving you flexibility for the future.

A divorce can seem an irrevocable step, and many couples opt for a period of separation to see if it changes the way they feel. Whether you’re choosing separation to assess your relationship or as a precursor to divorce, you’ll benefit from legal advice to know exactly where you stand, in terms of your children, finances and jointly owned assets.

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Many couples in this situation find it helpful to enter into a Separation Agreement (sometimes called a Deed of Separation). If you plan to separate for two years and then get a divorce, you should ask experienced separation agreement solicitors to help prepare the documents for any arrangements you’ve made between you.

What is a separation agreement?

A separation agreement is a legal contract between two individuals who are separating or divorcing that sets forth their rights and obligations with respect to property, assets, financial support, and other related matters. A separation agreement is typically used to help facilitate the separation process and provide a framework for resolving any disputes that may arise.

What is the purpose of a separation agreement?

A separation agreement makes sure that there is legal documentation that outlines the terms of the separation and what both parties have agreed to. It means that both parties have a clear understanding of what is expected of them and how shared assets will be dealt with during the period of separation. It also means that either party cannot attempt to discount or change the agreement.

Adultery during separation

Adultery can still take place even though a married couple are separated, and it can be used as grounds for divorce, provided it’s acted on within six months of knowledge.

At Moore Barlow, we can provide you with the legal support and advice you need to apply for a divorce, making sure your legal team act with sensitivity and care surrounding the matter of adultery. Having worked many different cases, we have seen how best to deal with this scenario, especially when there are children that have to be considered.

Making arrangements for the care of your children

It’s important you think carefully about the care of your children when you separate from your partner. This can be something that is difficult to negotiate with your partner, especially if there are any active disputes between the two of you. You may want to consider who the children will live with, whether you will share the responsibility, as well as what is the best option for them.

At Moore Barlow, we have observed many cases of separation and assisted partners to successfully negotiate what will have the least impact on the children involved. We have found the older they are, the more likely they will want to be involved in discussions and express their opinion about these arrangements, so this might want to be something you consider. Our team of separation solicitors have a lot of experience dealing with these kinds of cases and can approach them with the sensitivity and care they need. If you have any questions or enquiries, there’s more information on our children page.

Property rights

Depending on your own individual situation, you may want to think about living arrangements if you are planning on separating from your partner. Sometimes we have found couples can amicably live together with little disputes arising, making sure it is still a safe environment for any children involved. However, in some cases couples will need to spend some time apart, and it is important that you have spoken about this with your partner.

Your property rights don’t usually change when you separate. If you jointly own a property, you’ll still be joint owners, although your shares may change over time. If you are married and the family home is in your spouse’s sole name, it’s sensible to register a Matrimonial Homes Rights Notice against the title of the property. This should prevent it being sold, mortgaged or otherwise dealt with while you are separated, possibly without your knowledge. As expert legal separation solicitors, we can give you advice about property and prepare this notice for you.

What are the tax implications of separation?

It’s important that you make sure you are aware of any changes or implications concerning the tax you pay as a result of your separation. There are potential tax implications of separating and specialist advice should be obtained as early as possible from us and an accountant so you are able to make fully informed choices.

Depending on the specific circumstances of your separation, the tax implications you may incur can vary, but in most cases the division of assets will at the very least mean you will be liable for CGT (capital gains tax).

How to void a separation agreement?

A separation agreement can be made void if both parties decide they want to reconcile and attempt the marriage again, this means the agreement can be nullified. However, it can also be made void if one or more parties could not legally consent to the agreement, which is usually if an individual was under duress or not of sound mind.

How Moore Barlow can help

It’s well worth seeking an experienced solicitor’s advice on separation if it is something you are considering. We’ve known couples reconcile after a period of separation and feel reassured they had the support of a solicitor to make clear arrangements for their children, finances, and assets. Your individual interests are protected while you are separated, and in the long term, it will make life easier whether you decide to divorce or are able to reconcile.

We’ll be ready to discuss all the legal aspects of separation with you, individually or together. We will also give you advice about the documentation you need, and draft it for you with as much or as little detail as you wish. In terms of our solicitor’s fees for a separation agreement draft, this will be discussed with you in full at the time, or you can contact our family law team for more information, on 023 8071 8000.

We have offices in LondonRichmondSouthamptonGuildfordLymington and Woking and we offer specialist support to clients nationwide.

If you going through a separation or are considering it and have questions regarding family and divorce law, contact the Moore Barlow team today.