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familylawexpert, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 311
Experience:  Substantial experience (14yrs +) in divorce, financial cases, cohabitation, pre-nuptial agreements and civil partnerships.
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if my wife and I separate, is there a deed Of Separation document

Customer Question

if my wife and I separate, is there a deed Of Separation document that we both have to sign? Also can we both sign a statement that both of us do not wish for a division of assets?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  familylawexpert replied 3 years ago.

My name is Mac. I can help you with your question. First I need a bit more information:

1. Do the two of you prefer not to divorce?
2. Do you have any joint assets?
3. Do you have any children together?
4. How long were you married for (including any prior years of cohabitation)?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Mac,


1.. We may prefer to divorce.

2..Only the house is joint tennants in common. We have agreed on a 45/55 split in my wife's favour.


4. 23-24 years.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I responded to the experts request to Mac for info as folows:

1. No, we expect to divorce at some stage.

2. Only our house which will be divided in an agreed split of 45/55% in my wife's favour.

3. No

4. 24-24 years


No response has been received and if none is forthcoming by 3pm today UK time I shall request a refund and cancel my subscription.



Expert:  familylawexpert replied 3 years ago.
Dear Martin,

Firstly, my humble apologies for not getting back to you sooner. I am having some trouble with my email system, and hadn't appreciated that you had got back to me until your second message.

There are broadly three options open to you.

The only truly 100% binding option is to have a financial order made upon your divorce (which can be done by consent) that deals with your respective financial claims. You would need to have divorce proceedings to obtain that, and would produce some kind of financial disclosure to the court, to enable the judge to make an order in the terms that the two of you agreed between you (as a judge still has a legal duty only to make orders that are fair - although fair is a very broad concept, and if both of you are happy with the outcome, a judge would normally approve it).

If you don't want to get divorced, you could instead obtain a decree of judicial separation, and a similar financial order to the above. Effectively the order would provide that you consent to an order in similar terms upon a divorce being made in the future. It is no cheaper to go down this route than the divorce route, and then there will be the later costs of obtaining a divorce (which is somewhat duplicating things) so I generally only recommend that people follow this option where they have a religious or other similar objection to divorce.

The most informal would be a deed of separation, which would record that the two of you were separated and the financial agreement that you had reached. It could not be guaranteed to be binding - only a financial order on divorce (as above) achieves that. However, people can be held to such agreements - and to give yourself the best chance of that happening you need to:
- make full financial disclosure to one another
- not be under any pressure to enter into the agreement
- ideally, both receive independent legal advice on the proposed agreement
- have a lawyer draw up the deed of separation

The agreement should deal with all of your financial claims, eg against pensions etc, and maintenance. The two of you have had a long marriage, and so the potential claims need to be properly dealt with.

I hope that is helpful, and apologise again for the delay. I expect you may have some follow-up questions based on the above, so let me know what I can help you with further.


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