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A separation agreement is a voluntary agreement you can make when you want to stop living together as a couple. It sets out the arrangements you want to make for things like:
You may be separating but are not yet be ready for divorce, and you want to leave the path open for reconciliation. You may simply want to live apart before you make the decision to divorce. A separation agreement will help you to understand each other’s rights and responsibilities during the separation without the need to go to court.
You can use a separation agreement whether you are married or unmarried.
If you’re married, you can use a separation agreement to agree the terms of your separation before you finalise arrangements in a divorce. If you’re cohabiting and unmarried, a separation agreement can be useful. Common-law partners are not protected by laws in the same way as married couples.
These work well for couples who are not quite ready or fully committed to a divorce but who wish to make arrangements for finances, property or children.
Separation agreements are not legally binding documents. However, when properly written, it is a contract between two people. It will be taken seriously by the courts in the event of any subsequent challenge.