Separation

Initial Contact

When a couple separate, many issues arise. If the parties are in a qualifying relationship, and have not signed any properly executed agreements agreeing to the division of their assets under the Property (Relationships) Act 1976, they will be governed by the rules set out in that Act and Relationship Property will be divided equally.

There are however, possibilities for the sharing of separate property increases that have occurred during the relationship, along with perhaps adjustment/compensation where the living standards and income of one party is significantly higher than the other as the result of a division of functions during the relationship. There may also be issues of spousal maintenance where one party cannot meet their reasonable needs and it is reasonable to expect the other party to contribute to the shortfall (and they are in a position to do so).

Where there are children involved then there may be issues around child care and contact. Additionally child support payments may be required depending on the child care arrangements, the age of the children and whether they are independent. Parties to a relationship can reach their own agreements on a separation but to be binding these agreements must be completed through solicitors from different firms, one acting for each party.

There must be full and honest disclosure of assets and liabilities so that you can properly judge the wisdom of agreeing to any settlement agreement.