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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33953
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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Good evening,My husband and I have been separated for over

Customer Question

Good evening,

My husband and I have been separated for over a year and jointly own a property together worth around £600K. Ahead of a potential divorce and to protect our financial (and personal) situation, we are thinking about buying a new property together which will be used as a second home. We have pretty much agreed on how the property equity needs to be split and the relative contributions to mortgages and so forth.

Providing that we draft a joint agreement and get this recognised by an independent lawyer, will this be legally binding and could it be used when/if our divorce happens? Also, do we need to get the document checked by two independent lawyers (one for each of us) or will a single one suffice?

Many thanks in advance

Maria
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Just to check - you are both in full agreement as to the financial terms of your separation but you have no immediate plans for a divorce?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Clare,

That's quite right. At the moment we are going through some personal difficulties and are still close friends therefore we are avoiding making the big step towards divorce at this point.

If we were to divorce, I would expect that to happen no earlier than 9 months from now (to begin proceedings).

Hope this clarifies, let me know if you require any further info.

Maria
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
For clarity - are you concerned only about how the ownership of the properties are dealt with?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Predominantly that but also the responsibility for mortgage payments (and how that is split) since the mortgage will stay in both our names for the foreseeable future. We both have a financial background so are comfortable with the figures, just wish to make it all legal and sound.

Thanks in advance

Maria
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
If you wish to have the best chance of the Separation Agreement being valid then you will both need to be separately legally advised
There also has to be full disclosure of all assets - although I am sure this is not a problem
Even then it is not necessarily legally binding - but it is highly unlikely that a court would not treat it as binding
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33953
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Clare,

Thank you for the initial response. Given your comments, what will ensure that our agreement is 100% legally binding?

And if we both wish to use the same lawyer to save costs, what precautions do we need to make to ensure that the agreement is still valid?

When you talk about full asset disclosure, Is this simply an acknowledgment (list) of everything we own, jointly and separately?

Finally, does it matter if the terms of our agreement mean that the properties and mortgages will not be split equally (e.g. one property in both our names, the other property in the name of one of us only)?

Many thanks in advance
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
The only thing that is legally certain is a final financial order within Divorce proceedings.
To be almost as strong you must be separately advised on the Separation agreement
A simple list is fine so long as it is complete
An unequal division is OK so long as there is a reasonable balance of assets - or a good explanation for any divergence from equality
Clare

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you very much for your prompt assistance.

Rgds,
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
You are most welcome - and thank you for the bonus.
I hope all goes well
Clare

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