When it comes to Legal Separation, UK and international couples do not have to get divorced because you may prefer to regulate your separation with a Separation Deed. You do not even need to live in separate houses from your spouse as you may be living separate lives under the same roof and still be able to agree the terms of your separation.
A Separation Deed can contain any matter you wish to cover by agreement. It can deal with arrangements for children, detail financial arrangements, and even set out how the contents of the home and personal belongings are to be divided.
A Separation Deed is a document which is good evidence of what each party intended should happen if a relationship breaks down, but a Court in any subsequent divorce proceedings does not have to strictly follow the content of a Separation Deed. The Court may take the content into account, but will assess what is fair and reasonable based upon the circumstances of each party at the time of the Court proceedings. If the terms of the Separation Deed represent a fair division of the assets and set out sensible arrangements for the children, etc, the Court is more likely to endorse the content of a Separation Deed.
It is very sensible for there to be a full disclosure of both parties’ financial position before a Separation Deed is produced and also for both parties to receive independent legal advice.
Where unmarried couples separate, the legal position is entirely different as obviously none of the divorce laws apply. Unfortunately, the legal position of separating unmarried couples is far from clear-cut and it is very important that appropriate legal advice be obtained. Where assets are in joint names, the fact of joint ownership will remain crucial. However, it is possible for one party to an unmarried relationship to make a claim against property owned by the other according to various aspects of Trust Law depending on the common intention of the parties during their time together. This is a potentially complex area of law and advice will be given on an individual basis as the facts of an individual case will be highly relevant.
In all cases of Legal Separation, our aim is to bring about a successful and cost-effective solution to your case with the minimum of distress. For more information, please do not hesitate to get in touch.