Free Separation Agreement

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Separation Agreement

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SEPARATION AGREEMENT

THIS SEPARATION AGREEMENT (the "Agreement") dated this _____ of   ___________ ,  _____

BETWEEN:

______________________
of ______________________

OF THE FIRST PART

-and-

______________________
of ______________________

OF THE SECOND PART

BACKGROUND:

  1. ______________________ and ______________________ (individually the "Party" and collectively the "Parties") were lawfully married on 29 May 2024 at ______________________, ______________________, . Due to certain differences that have developed between the Parties, they agree to live separate and apart from each other, subject to the terms and conditions in this Agreement.
  2. The Parties have made complete, fair and accurate disclosure to each other on all financial matters reflected in this Agreement.
  3. The terms of this Agreement are intended to settle the matters addressed below and may be incorporated into a final decree of divorce, except to the extent that specific matters are amended or addressed in a subsequent separation agreement.
  4. The Parties have each consulted a solicitor and have had the benefit of separate and independent legal advice with regards to his or her legal rights arising out of the marital relationship and the terms of this Agreement.
  5. The Parties have each voluntarily entered into this Agreement and have not been forced by anyone to sign this Agreement, and both of the Parties confirm that they have the capacity to enter into this Agreement.
  6. The Parties confirm that the terms of settlement agreement are fair and reasonable as at the date of execution of the Agreement.


IN CONSIDERATION OF the mutual promises and covenants contained in this Agreement, and other valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which consideration is hereby acknowledged, the Parties agree as follows:

  1. LIVING SEPARATELY
  2. The Parties will, from the date of execution of this Agreement, live separate and apart from each other, as fully and completely as though they had never been married. Neither Party will attend the other's home or work without invitation or approval.
  3. CHILDREN
  4. There are no children of the marriage and the Parties have not adopted any children.
  5. SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE
  6. This Agreement represents the final result of back and forth negotiation between the Parties as to the actual terms dealt with and content of those clauses. Each Party confirms that they understand the nature of this Agreement and the financial and legal consequences of signing this Agreement. Each Party had the opportunity to retain their own professional assistance to address any questions or concerns that they had as they negotiated this Agreement and before they executed this Agreement. Each Party confirms that they have provided any significant financial information and has not hidden or misrepresented any such financial information. Both Parties have kept any drafts and other documentation to substantiate such negotiation efforts.
  7. ______________________ will pay spousal maintenance in the amount of £_____________ GBP monthly to ______________________ up to and including 29 May 2024. Spousal maintenance payments will commence on 29 May 2024 and will be paid on the the last day of each and every month.
  8. INCOME
  9. Total annual employment income for ______________________ is £_____________ GBP. ______________________ has no other source of income.
  10. Total annual employment income for ______________________ is £_____________ GBP. ______________________ has no other source of income.
  11. DIVISION OF PROPERTY
  12. The Parties acknowledge that they have agreed upon a division of all property, owned or possessed by them as matrimonial property or separate property. The Parties are in possession of all of those properties to which he or she is respectively entitled. Accordingly, neither makes any claim to any property or properties in the possession of the other.
  13. DEBTS
  14. The Parties agree that any indebtedness secured against, or attributable to, any item of property that either Party is receiving under this Agreement will be the sole responsibility of the Party receiving the particular property. This section does not apply to any debts or mortgage relating to the Matrimonial Home.
  15. Neither Party will incur any further debt or liability on the other Party's credit. Any debt accumulated after the date of this Agreement is the debt of the individual Party, regardless if the debt was incurred as a result of joint credit.
  16. SUCCESSION RIGHTS
  17. Upon the death of ______________________, ______________________ waives, releases, discharges, quitclaims and renounces every and all rights, whether at common law, in equity, or by statute, or any testamentary writing or will, to share in the estate of ______________________
  18. Upon the death of ______________________, ______________________ waives, releases, discharges, quitclaims and renounces every and all rights, whether at common law, in equity, or by statute, or any testamentary writing or will, to share in the estate of ______________________
  19. GENERAL PROVISIONS
  20. The Parties will promptly sign and give to the other all documents necessary to give effect to the terms of this Agreement.
  21. This Agreement contains the entire agreement between the Parties about their relationship with each other. Except as provided elsewhere in this Agreement, this Agreement replaces any earlier written or oral agreement between the Parties.
  22. Should any portion of this Agreement be held by a court of law to be invalid, unenforceable, or void, such finding will not have the effect of invalidating or voiding the remainder of this Agreement, and the Parties agree that the portion so held to be invalid, unenforceable, or void, will be deemed amended, reduced in scope, or otherwise removed only to the extent required for purposes of validity and enforcement in the jurisdiction of such finding.
  23. The Parties may only amend this Agreement in writing after both Parties have obtained separate and independent legal advice on the changes.
  24. In the event that a dispute arises regarding this Agreement, the Parties will try to resolve the matter through negotiation or mediation, prior to initiating a court action.
  25. Notwithstanding that the Parties acknowledge and agree that their circumstances at the execution of this Agreement may change for any reason, including but without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the passage of years, it is nonetheless their intention to be bound strictly by the terms of this Agreement at all times.
  26. The Parties agree to provide and execute such further documentation as may be reasonably required in the future in order to continue to give full force and effect to the terms of this Agreement.
  27. Headings are inserted for the convenience of the Parties only and are not to be considered when interpreting this Agreement.
  28. This Agreement and the terms and conditions contained in this Agreement apply to and are binding upon the Parties, their respective heirs, executors, administrators, and assignees.
  29. The terms of this Agreement will remain in effect until:
    1. the Parties terminate this Agreement in writing and validly execute the termination; or
    2. the Parties resume marital relations for a period of 90 days or more.
  30. The laws of  will govern the interpretation of this Agreement, and the status, ownership, and division of property between the Parties wherever either or both of them may from time to time reside.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the Parties have signed this agreement the day and year first above written.


SIGNED as a DEED by ______________________
In the presence of:

Witness: ______________________ (Sign)

   

__________________________________

Witness Name: ______________________

   

______________________ (First Party)

Address: ___________________________

     

___________________________________

     


SIGNED as a DEED by ______________________
In the presence of:

Witness: ______________________ (Sign)

   

__________________________________

Witness Name: ______________________

   

______________________ (Second Party)

Address: ___________________________

     

___________________________________

     

Last Updated February 15, 2024

Written by 

Reviewed by 


|

Fact checked by 



What is a Separation Agreement?

A Separation Agreement lists a married couple's choices when preparing to separate, like splitting assets, childcare responsibilities, and debts. It can document trial or permanent separations.

A Separation Agreement is also known as a:

  • Marital separation agreement
  • Legal separation agreement
  • Trial separation agreement

What is the difference between a trial separation and a permanent separation?

A couple may use a trial separation as a way to evaluate their marriage and to work on themselves as well as their relationship. In a trial separation, the couple may still get back together.

However, a trial separation becomes permanent if the couple stays separated but remains married. This happens when the couple decides they cannot reconcile problems in their relationship, but a divorce is not the final outcome they want to pursue.

Do the terms change when a trial separation becomes permanent in a Separation Agreement?

The terms of the Separation Agreement do not change when a couple turns their trial separation into a permanent one. The terms will only change if the agreement uses time-specific language. The courts still see the couple as legally married until divorced, and the Separation Agreement remains valid.

How do Separation Agreements affect divorce proceedings?

Our Separation Agreement template helps you create the document when you and your spouse are ready to separate. It guides you step-by-step through each section. You can then submit the agreement during divorce proceedings.

Having a Separation Agreement makes the legal process easier by helping the judge understand the details of your separation.

The courts craft a divorce certificate or decree if the couple proceeds with the divorce paperwork. If the couple still agrees to the Separation Agreement’s terms, they could become the official terms listed in the divorce decree. The courts no longer use the Separation Agreement when the divorce becomes official.

What does “living separate lives” mean?

Generally, living separate lives means you and your spouse no longer act as if you are married.  It doesn't necessarily mean you live at separate addresses. Evidence of living separate lives can include:

  • Not participating in the same activities
  • Dividing household responsibilities
  • Segregating assets and finances
  • Refraining from sexual relations
  • Communicating less often
  • Eating meals separately

After separating, you might still live in the same home as your spouse for several reasons, like:

  • Creating a smooth transition process for other family members
  • Focusing on co-parenting and child maintenance duties
  • Overcoming financial challenges

When should I use a Separation Agreement?

You should consider creating a Separation Agreement if you’re:

The ideal time to use a Separation Agreement is when you and your spouse can easily agree on the terms you want to include. If you and your spouse agree to the contract terms, the judge will likely enforce them.

Who is considered a spouse in this Separation Agreement?

Spouses are people who are legally married.

Can I use this agreement if my partner and I are common-law?

No, you have to be legally married or registered as a civil partnership to use LawDepot’s Separation Agreement. Common-law partnerships are not legally recognised in the United Kingdom. Therefore, common-law partners do not have the same legal rights as married couples.

What should I include in a Separation Agreement?

LawDepot’s Separation Agreement questionnaire helps you to organise the following information in your marital Separation Agreement:

  1. General information
    - If you or your spouse have children
    - The country where you and your spouse live
  2. Party details
    - Your name and address
    - Your spouse’s name and address
  3. Marriage information
    - Marriage date
    - Marriage location
  4. Money and property information
    - Spousal maintenance 
    - Child maintenance and insurance information
    - Matrimonial home details
    - You and your spouse’s income
    - Division of assets 
    - Common property
    - Responsibility of debts

  5. Final details
    - Additional clauses
    - Signing details
    - If each party’s solicitor reviews the agreement

You can edit our Separation Agreement template and reference it anytime.

Why should I use a Separation Agreement?

Navigating a marital separation can be tough emotionally, but a Separation Agreement can help you find clarity and peace of mind. Our Separation Agreement guides you through debt division, financial obligations, and childcare arrangements so that you can gather your thoughts and focus on your needs.

Are Separation Agreements legally binding?

In most cases, courts will recognise Separation Agreements as legally binding documents. However, there are situations where the agreement may be invalid or voidable. This means that they are legally unenforceable:

  • The terms aren’t in your children's best interests
  • One spouse has not fully disclosed certain assets or liabilities
  • The terms are biased and unfair (i.e., it takes advantage of a spouse that is in a vulnerable emotional or financial state, or the agreement was signed under duress)

The courts may invalidate the agreement using these terms to safeguard the interests of both parties. Some of the terms in the contract may even go against certain jurisdictional or federal laws. Voiding the Separation Agreement prevents someone from trying to enforce a noncompliant agreement.

Our legal team works hard to ensure LawDepot’s Separation Agreement template meets legal standards in each United Kingdom jurisdiction. However, it’s up to you to complete the form with your information. To ensure the agreement's validity, you must get a solicitor to review it upon completion.

Can you cancel or change a Separation Agreement?

You can modify or change a Separation Agreement only if both parties agree to the proposed changes. It could benefit the couple to get legal advice from their lawyers before moving forward with any changes in the Separation Agreement.

You can also revoke a Separation Agreement, but only if both parties agree to it. Agreeing to revoke the Separation Agreement needs to be documented in writing.

What happens to my debt during the separation?

A marital separation does not dissolve your debt.  You and your spouse must decide who will take responsibility for any outstanding debt. Outstanding debt includes mortgages, loans, credit cards, or lines of credit.

You will likely not be responsible for any debt your spouse accumulated before marriage. You can avoid confusion by referring to your Prenuptial Agreement if you have one.  This agreement will specify your separate debts, property, or assets prior to marriage.

What are considered assets?

Assets are items or things of monetary value. A spouse may have sole ownership over an asset, like a family heirloom, but may also have shared or joint ownership over other assets, such as the matrimonial home. Some assets that you or your spouse might own include:

  • Bank accounts or trust funds
  • Credit cards or lines of credit
  • Cars or luxury vehicles
  • Livestock or pets
  • Land or property
  • Physical money
  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Jewellery

How do I discuss dividing assets with my spouse?

This can be an emotional conversation, but it must be had. You can start by communicating honestly and respectfully with your spouse. Set clear goals, and discuss what you want to accomplish while dividing your assets.

Taking the time to work on your Separation Agreement together may steer you in the right direction and allow you to ask questions and clarify which assets are most important to you and your spouse.

How do we divide our assets?

There are different ways to do this. Some couples may leave the relationship with assets or property held solely in their name. Others may want to calculate each item’s value and then divide things equally between each other.

Here are three suggestions to get started:

  1. List all of your assets, both jointly and individually.
  2. Appraise the value of your assets. You might want to seek an expert opinion for larger assets such as real estate or anything else that may be difficult to value.
  3. Decide who gets what. Go through your list of assets and evaluate each person’s ownership claim, and then decide who should keep what. Consider exchanging one larger item for several smaller items to ensure an equal split.

Do both parties have to sign the Separation Agreement?

Both parties must sign the document for a Separation Agreement to become official. If your spouse refuses to sign the agreement, you can contact a lawyer or arbitrator to help settle the disagreement.

What is an arbitrator?

An arbitrator is a specially-trained individual who plays a judge-like role in resolving conflicts. Family arbitrators meet with separating couples to resolve their issues without going to court. Many family arbitrators are lawyers but can also be psychologists or social workers with special family law training.

Arbitration is a faster, more private alternative to litigation, which involves taking lawsuits and disputes to court.

If you and your spouse disagree, the arbitrator will decide for you. This is called a family arbitration award. You may also hire a lawyer to represent you during the arbitration.

How do I avoid going through lawyers or arbitrators during a separation?

The less time you spend arguing with your ex, the less money you’ll waste on legal services. Avoid the hassle of dealing with lawyers or arbitrators by using LawDepot’s helpful template to guide your conversations. Then, craft a Separation Agreement with agreeable terms and conditions that you can present to your solicitor for a quick review.

Who can witness a Separation Agreement?

Any legal adult with capacity can act as a witness in England, Scotland, and Wales. In Northern Ireland, however, the signing of the Separation Agreement must be witnessed by a solicitor or commissioner for oaths. 

 

What happens if my spouse and I reconcile?

Our template allows you to add new clauses, such as one that addresses the reconciliation. For example, a reconcilliation clause could state that you must follow the terms of the original agreement for at least 90 days after you reconcile as a couple.

Related documents

  • Prenuptial Agreement: Clarify financial responsibilities with your new spouse and protect your interests if you get re-married.
  • Cohabitation Agreement: Protect your interests as an unmarried couple wanting to live together.
  • Child Medical Consent Form: Grant another person the authority to make medical decisions for your child.
  • Child Travel Consent: Give parental permission for a child to travel with a designated companion or on their own.
  • Last Will and Testament: Control the distribution of your estate and appoint a legal guardian for any dependents that survive you.
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