What is a Separation Agreement?

A separation agreement is a legally binding contract that outlines the rights, responsibilities, and arrangements for couples who have decided to live separately. It covers essential aspects of your separation, such as:
  • Property Division: Specifying how your assets, including the family home, savings, investments, pensions and personal belongings, will be divided.
  • Financial Support: Outlining financial arrangements, including spousal support and child maintenance.
  • Child Residence and Contact : Determining arrangements for the care of children.
  • Debts and Liabilities: Addressing how shared debts, loans, and liabilities will be managed.
  • Pensions: Detailing the treatment of pensions and retirement plans.
  • Insurance: Clarifying how health, life, and other insurance policies will be handled.

A separation agreement can offer a sense of control, clarity, and protection during a challenging period of your life. At Drummond Miller, we understand the complexities of separation and are here to help you navigate this journey with professionalism, compassion, and legal expertise. Contact us today for a confidential consultation with one of our family law solicitors to discuss your separation agreement needs and protect your interests during this time of change.

Why Should You Consider a Separation Agreement?

  • Clarity and Security: A separation agreement provides a clear and legally binding document that outlines the terms of your separation. This clarity can reduce misunderstandings and conflicts between parties.
  • Control: It allows you and your partner to have control over the terms of your separation, rather than leaving important decisions to a court.
  • Privacy: Unlike divorce proceedings, separation agreements are private agreements between parties.
  • Speed: Separation agreements can be quicker and less expensive to obtain when compared with resolution of matters through the Court.
  • Protection for Children: It helps create a stable environment for children by addressing residence, contact and support arrangements.

Creating a Separation Agreement

Crafting a legally robust and comprehensive separation agreement requires legal expertise. At Drummond Miller, our experienced family law team can assist you in the following ways:

  • Consultation: We listen to your concerns and goals, providing guidance on what should be included in your separation agreement.
  • Negotiation: We facilitate negotiations between you and your partner, usually via solicitors, to reach mutually agreeable terms.
  • Drafting: We draft a customised separation agreement tailored to your unique situation, ensuring it complies with all legal requirements.
  • Finalisation: We guide you through the process of signing and executing the agreement, making it legally binding.

Contact our Experienced Separation Lawyers

Our team is experienced in advising clients dealing with the consequences of the breakdown of a relationship and is here to help you through every stage of the separation agreement process. Please get in touch for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following information answers a few of the most commonly asked questions we are asked relating to separation agreements. Our Family Law team are experts in handling all kinds of enquiries, please contact us to discuss your case.

A separation agreement, sometimes called a ‘minute of agreement’ is a legally binding document, signed by you and your former partner, that provides a clear framework for resolving all matters arising from the end of your relationship.

The primary aim is to provide you and your former partner with a clear path forward in managing financial and childcare arrangements. It clears up much of the potential for disagreement and misunderstandings.

It will deal with what is to happen going forward in terms of matrimonial assets such as houses, cars, savings, investments and pensions, and also matrimonial debt. In the short term it can set out how the mortgage, rent or bills are to be paid, who will live in your property and any arrangements for its sale.

A separation agreement can also cover the care of any children and any financial arrangements for them. This includes such issues as who they will live with and how much time they will spend with the other parent.

Firstly, it’s important to find a legal firm that has the knowledge and expertise to guide you every step of the way, in an empathetic but no-nonsense manner. At Drummond Miller, we are extremely experienced in advising clients on every step of entering into a separation agreement.

It can save time, and expense, if you note down as much information as possible before your appointment with your solicitor. You and your former partner may be able to talk things through and agree some of the points beforehand, but we always advise clients to take advice on the law regarding financial provision on divorce before entering into any binding agreement.

The information you supply to your solicitor at Drummond Miller will allow them to enter into negotiations on your behalf with a view to reaching a final agreement.

Once agreement is reached, a separation agreement is drafted and then signed by you and your former partner.

The costs vary according to how complex your situation is and the length of negotiations which are required to reach an agreement. However, Drummond Miller will always endeavour to provide a high-quality, cost-effective service in an efficient manner.

Financial provision on separation and divorce/dissolution of a civil partnership is governed by the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985. This sets out principles which provide guidance in working out what each spouse is entitled to. Each case is approached based on its own facts and circumstances.

  1. The starting point is that each party is entitled to a fair division of the net value of matrimonial property. Dividing fairly usually, but not always, means equally. Matrimonial property is defined as all assets (and debts) acquired during the marriage and before the date of separation, excluding gifts from third parties, inheritances, or items owned prior to the marriage (other than a home purchased prior to marriage for use as a family home).
  2. Any economic advantage or disadvantage suffered by either party must be taken into account. This includes, for example, one partner giving up work to raise children.
  3. The costs associated with raising any children under 16 must be shared fairly.
  4. If one partner has been financially dependent on the other, they can be awarded financial provision to enable them to adjust, usually for a maximum of 3 years.
  5. If one partner will suffer serious financial hardship, financial provision to relieve them of hardship can be made over a reasonable period.

Get the best legal advice

As we're one of Scotland’s leading family law firms, we’re in an excellent position to provide insightful advice and empathetic guidance. We don’t simply have an excellent understanding of the legal process, we also listen carefully to your needs, preferences and circumstances.

If you would like advice regarding entering into a separation agreement or seeking financial support from a spouse, contact us today. A member of our friendly Family Law team, who operate from our offices in EdinburghGlasgowBathgateDalkeith and Musselburgh will be happy to discuss your situation and options with you.

We’re here to help you take the next step.
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