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Divorce or separation

Agreeing a separation deed

Like many couples, you may agree to separate for a length of time before seeking a divorce and you may wish to settle your financial arrangements without delay. If you are not married, see our page on ‘Breaking up if you have been living together’.

You can separate formally without involving the family court by drawing up and signing a written separation deed or agreement which:

  • confirms arrangements for living apart;
  • details your agreements about maintenance, finances and property; and
  • incorporates any other financial arrangements you wish to include.

You cannot force your spouse to sign this document, so if you cannot agree your financial arrangements, you may want to consider applying for a divorce.

Should you or your spouse make a financial application at any time after agreeing a separation deed, the court must consider the deed but is not bound it. To ensure it carries sufficient weight you should therefore:

  • each make full and frank financial disclosure;
  • each seek the legal advice of your own solicitor; and
  • have an expert family lawyer prepare your deed.

Provided that nothing has changed since, and you have each entered into the agreement voluntarily and have followed the steps above, you can ask for your separation deed to be formalised in a consent order should you go on to obtain a divorce.

However, if you entered into an unfair separation agreement or there has been a significant change in circumstances, you can ask the court to look at your situation afresh.

We can advise you

Based in the City of London our matrimonial solicitors are on hand for a convenient appointment between meetings or before your commute home. We will explain your options in straightforward language so that you can make informed decisions about what is best for you and your children.

We are used to working with busy executives and international families and regularly have meetings via Skype or video call with clients in other time zones.

Funding for legal advice or representation

Once we understand your circumstances, we will advise you on the options that may be available to you.

Contact our matrimonial team

To organise an initial consultation, in complete confidence, please contact a member of our specialist family team who will be able to help.

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