The tech billionaire, Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates have undertaken a Separation Contract prior to announcing their impending divorce.  Whilst that case is from the US, the system in England and Wales does have some similar features.

If a couple are to wait before proceeding with a divorce, in particular in those cases where parties wish to proceed at a later date with a no fault divorce, the marital finances will need to be dealt with.

This can be done by the preparation of a Separation Agreement. This is a document which parties enter into after having sight of each other’s assets and liabilities. They should also have the opportunity to seek independent legal advice.

The Separation Agreement covers how the parties will separate their assets and debts, with the exception of pensions, which can only be dealt with at the point of concluding the divorce.

Once complete, the agreement is then witnessed and signed by both parties.  It does not need to be submitted to court and therefore can be completed fairly quickly.  These types of agreements can be a really important tool in resolving matters amicably and at an early stage.

If you need advice on whether you require a Separation Agreement, Maxwell Hodge can assist you with this.