Are you going through a separation? While it can take an emotional toll on the lives of both individuals, arrangements need to be made and issues need to be dealt with. For a smooth outcome with the best intentions for both parties, a separated couple or partnership can enter a process called a ‘Separation Agreement’. Continue reading to learn more about the importance of separation agreements and what they consist of. If you need any legal advice, please contact us today.

Understanding Separation Agreements

A separation agreement is a written agreement which sets out specific terms and conditions when a couple decides to part ways. It works well for couples who are married and are not ready to begin formal divorce proceedings yet, or for those who are unmarried and cohabiting (as a divorce is not required), but still wish to make arrangements. This agreement ensures both parties adhere to the settled arrangements and allows separated couples to resolve issues or disputes, offering clarity and certainty. 

It is worth nothing, a separation agreement is not technically a legally binding document and has no power to determine any disputes. However, it can act as proof of separation and it can be used in court when making a ruling if necessary. In order for the separation agreement to be upheld in court, both parties must enter into the agreement freely and voluntarily, all assets and responsibilities must be disclosed and both parties must agree with the terms. 

What Does A Separation Agreement Include?

A separation agreement will outline the details of the relationship, state the date of separation and explain how joint assets and responsibilities will be divided. A separation agreement usually includes clauses which allow for variations if circumstances change, for example, death, breach of agreement, re-marriage or cohabitation, change in income or other relevant changes of either party. The main assets and responsibilities in a separation agreement include, but are not limited to: children, finances and properties.


If children are involved, they are the most important concern of a separated couple. A separation agreement will outline child arrangements such as who they’ll live with, how often they’ll spend time with the other parent, school drop-offs and pickups, holidays, which parent will claim child benefit and tax credit, how much child maintenance should be paid from one parent to the other and so on. Having these arrangements is essential for a smooth transition for the family and puts the child’s best interests at the forefront.


When a relationship or marriage breaks down, you will need to consider how it will affect your finances. A separation agreement allows couples to split finances and debts. Loans, credit cards, mortgage or rent, utility bills, school and medical fees are examples of financial costs which need to be split between each party. Pensions, savings, investments and other revenue may be dealt with differently, depending if the couple is married or not.

Properties & Assets

If a couple is married or cohabiting, they usually have joint ownership of the family house and other assets such as cars and pets. During a separation, the house may need to be sold with the profit of the sale being divided between each party accordingly. Otherwise, one party may decide to live in the house and pay the other party to gain sole ownership. In terms of personal possessions, a list is usually drawn up and items are split up depending on which party paid for it. Family pets need to also be considered and it can depend on which party has ownership and who is willing to care for the pet or pets as well as covering vet bills, insurance and other pet expenses.

For More Legal Advice, Speak To Our Family Solicitors 

We hope this blog article has highlighted the importance of separation agreements and helped the process seem less overwhelming or daunting. At Beeston Shenton Solicitors, we are an award-winning solicitors with offices in Newcastle-Under-Lyme and Knutsford. One of our company visions is being family-focused, ensuring our clients and their families have a brighter future ahead. Our team of family solicitors have years of experience in family law including separation and divorce. We carry out a personal, caring and sensitive approach, guiding our clients through the whole process. 

Choosing us as your solicitor will take pressure off your shoulders as we draft up an accurate separation agreement for you as well as pointing out hidden issues and answering any questions you may have along the way. For more legal advice, speak to one of our family solicitors via phone or email today.