Benefits of a Separation Agreement

Separation Agreements provide greater control and clarity for people whose marriage has broken down. Often, it also allows for a more amicable split, and can even speed up the divorce process later down the line.

What is a Separation Agreement?

A Separation Agreement is a legal document made by a couple whose marriage has broken down. It sets out, in writing, the terms of their separation. This might include what happens to their money, property, children and pets.

The agreement is entered into voluntarily and each person must consent to the terms. Once the document has been signed, it becomes legally binding. At this point, it is also known as a Deed of Separation.

A Separation Agreement is tailored to the couple’s circumstances. Generally, it deals with –

  • The division of money and debts
  • The division of assets, including pensions and property
  • Living arrangements
  • Child care arrangements
  • Maintenance payments

A Separation Agreement is not the same thing as a Judicial Separation. When you get a Separation Agreement, you must both agree to the terms of the contract. You might reach this agreement with the help of mediation or negotiation through your solicitors.

If you cannot agree, you can pursue a Judicial Separation instead. A judge will then make decisions for you.

Why get a Separation Agreement?

Separation Agreements are particularly beneficial for couples whose marriage has broken down, but who cannot (or do not want to) get divorced just yet. Some of the benefits of a Separation Agreement include –

  1. Allows for pre-divorce arrangements

Previously when a marriage broke down in Ireland, the separating couple had to wait at least four years to start divorce proceedings. Thanks to recent legislative changes, this has been revised down to two years. Even so, two years is a long time to be in limbo. Most couples simply want to get on with their lives.

A Separation Agreement therefore acts as an interim measure. It allows you to set out how your separation is going to work. These arrangements can take effect straightaway, without you having to go to court.

  1. Makes for a more amicable split

The breakdown of a relationship is always difficult. However, it will be much easier if you can come to a mutually agreeable solution regarding your money, property and children. Co-operation allows you to finalise the details of your separation faster, and reduces feelings of animosity. This is better for everyone, especially children.

You might be able to come to an agreement with your ex-partner simply by discussing matters between you. If not, you can always try mediation or negotiation through your solicitors. You mind find that in doing so, you reach a resolution.

  1. Gives you control

If you cannot agree on certain decisions, the courts will be asked to decide instead. This takes control out of your hands and into the hands of a judge. You cannot know what the judge will rule, and it could result in an outcome you would never have chosen. So, although it might be difficult to negotiate with your ex-partner, it is worth a go. At least then you have a say in the decision-making process.

  1. Provides greater clarity

Once you have a Separation Agreement in place, it provides each person with greater clarity. You both know exactly how your separation is going to play out. This certainty is a relief, as you can plan for the future knowing precisely what is going to happen to your money, property and assets.

  1. Forms the basis of your divorce settlement

If you go on to get divorced, your Separation Agreement can form the basis of your divorce settlement. This speeds up the divorce process, making it less arduous for both you and your ex-spouse.

Contact us now

If your relationship has broken down and you want to find out more about a Separation Agreement, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are client focused and results driven. We can discuss the suitability of a Separation Agreement in your particular circumstances. If you want to proceed, we can help you draft the agreement, providing expert legal advice throughout.

Call us on 051 391 488 or email reception@mullinstreacy.ie for a no obligation enquiry.

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