Separation Agreements & Judicial Separation
If you and your spouse, or civil partner, want to live separately, you may wish to make the terms of your separation clear. A separation agreement can be a useful way of setting out the practicalities of living separately, but both parties must be able to agree on its terms. If you are unable to agree, you may need to apply for judicial separation. Head of our Family Law Department, family lawyer Etain Boyce has a significant amount of experience helping clients with family law matters and has helped many couples to come to an agreement about separation, providing provide advice and assistance on all related matters.
Why Use a Separation Agreement?
A separation agreement can give both parties certainty allowing them to move forward with confidence. You can also protect your position when it comes to child custody or access, maintenance, financial and living arrangements and more.
Is a Separation Agreement Legally Binding?
When properly executed, a separation agreement is a legally binding contract between the two parties. The document drawn up to formalise the agreement is known as a Deed of Separation and becomes legally binding when it is signed by both parties. You and your partner may negotiate the terms between yourselves, however couples normally use mediation or their respective family law solicitors. If you choose to use lawyers, both parties must have their own solicitor to provide them with adequate independent advice.
If you and your partner or spouse are unable to agree on the terms of your separation, either party may apply to the court for a decree of judicial separation. In order to grant the decree, the court must be satisfied that:
- There are sufficient grounds for the application
- You have been advised about counselling and mediation
- Provision has been made for children and other dependants
If satisfied that the above conditions have been met, the court will grant a decree of judicial separation which sets out that the couple will no longer live together as a married couple. The court may also make orders in relation to child custody, child access, maintenance payments, and any other relevant matters. You cannot apply for judicial separation if you already have a separation agreement in place.
Contact our Separation Agreements & Judicial Separation Solicitors in Carrigart and Letterkenny, Co. Donegal
For specialist advice about separation agreements or judicial separation, contact us today. Based in Carrigart, our family lawyers help clients across Donegal, including Letterkenny, Ballybofey, Stranorlar, Buncrana, Donegal Town, Carndonagh, Dungloe, Gweedore and Killybegs.
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