Separation Agreements

FOR SPOUSES AND PARTNERS

If two people have each decided and then agreed that they are not happy in their marriage or civil partnership, divorce is not the only option.

Increasingly couples are finding that a separation agreement can work and it can leave the door open to change the agreed arrangements if their circumstances later change.

Separation agreements must be mutually accepted and these documents set down arrangements for important matters such as who will live in the property that was the family home, who will look after any children of the family and if any payments will be made by one person to the other.

An agreement such as a Separation Agreement is not currently legally binding in the UK, but a Judge may take it into account if there is a later dispute that goes to court.  These agreements can also be relevant to a divorce court when it considers financial matters and ancillary relief after granting a divorce.

Obinna Baranta

Obinna Baranta

Partner
Fraud

If you’ve decided separation is the best way forward, we can assist you with a separation agreement.

We will draft an agreement in accordance with instructions received from both parties involved. The agreement will consider both of your needs and wishes.

If you also wish to complete a transfer of equity in relation to your home, for example if one partner is buying the other out of the property or making the transfer of equity as a lump sum to cover agreed expenses like child care, we can help you.

In order to get the financial aspects of your separation agreement right, you and your partner will need to provide full details of your income and assets. This information will enable a fairer and clearer separation agreement.

Once all of the information has been obtained from you, we will prepare send your Separation Agreement to both parties.

The first benefit of this type of agreement it helps to avoid court proceedings and reduces legal expenses.

In legal and practical terms, a separation agreement is a form of contract and is subject to the usual rules of contracts.

Couples who sign it need to know that is an important document and works best when it is complied with.

It is very important that the two parties involved should receive independent legal advice before signing a Separation Agreement.

It is also very important for the parties to be completely honest about their income and assets to avoid accusations of fraud in the future.

When everyone is happy with the terms, we will arrange for it to be signed.

We can also refer you to mediation and other forms of collaborative dispute resolution.

For cases in which a separation agreement is completed, it must be stressed that it is not a final guaranteed solution.

Either party can apply to the Court at a later date for further provision and some people take the opportunity to do this when divorce is decided upon.

However, the court will consider the terms of the Separation Agreement as a record of the parties’ intentions which may influence the outcome.

Usually, the Court will take a look at how the terms of the agreement were reached and what was based on.

Matters such as whether one or both parties failed to make a full financial disclosure, whether there was any undue influence and how the parties have acted on the agreement.

These matters mean that even though separation agreements are not binding in law that can be highly relevant to the decision of a court of law.

Other benefits of independent legal advice?

You will enjoy peace of mind when you receive quality legal advice on the document you are about to sign.

Our solicitors believe that important transactions should progress and complete without any avoidable delays and stress, so they will be doing their best to achieve this.

Your document may not be an agreement or a contract. It may be a form or a letter on which your signature is required.

Whichever form your documents take, we devote sufficient time to explain the contents and legal implications so that you can act with confidence.

What is your solicitors’ role?

When your solicitor signs under a statement that you have received independent legal advice from him or her on the contents of a document, that document becomes certificate of independent legal advice.

Giving a certificate of independent legal advice is not the same as witnessing your signature on a document. Your solicitor will also consider any information he or she has received from you.

You may be about to give consent; be a surety; provide a guarantee or waive some of your legal rights. To ensure that you know the full extent of your legal position, your solicitor may also ask you some questions about the transaction.

Your solicitor does this in other to ensure that your best interests are protected and that you know the legal effect of your signature of the form or document. Your solicitor has a legal and ethical duty to advise you and act in your best interest.

Impartial Advice

What you need is independent and impartial advice from a firm that is not involved with your main transaction. The main benefit is that a solicitor who is unconnected to any other parties to your main transaction, will focus only your best interest and how the transaction affects you.

Our solicitors start by reminding you that placing your signature on any document is a choice for you. You will then receive our legal advice and professional opinion in clear and straightforward language.

If we notice any risks in a transaction that you are not already aware of, we will bring these to your attention, and inform you of every legal option that can enable timely and successful completion of your transaction.

The process of our Independent Legal Advice service

Contact us on 020 3742 9153 or 079 443 45 443 to request a solicitor’s home visit or office appointment.
We will usually attend your address OR receive you in our office within 24 hours of your call.
We will deliver advice on content of your forms and the implication of placing your signing the form during our meeting with you.
You can help us to assist you efficiently by giving us relevant information about your transaction.
Please have documents that verify your identity and your address ready as we must certify that we conducted our identity checks before we advised and certified our advice to you.
If you decide to go ahead with signing the documents after receiving full legal advice, we can also witness your signature.
We will then provide our certificate of independent advice to you and additionally to any other third party you instruct us to notify.
Finally, we will confirm our advice to you in writing and issue our invoice for the amount of payment we received for our services to you.

Additional Services We Provide

  • Oaths & Certifications
    We are commissioners of oath. We have seals and stamps which will be placed on the documents under oath. We can certify any document except documents and refer you to a notary public when necessary.
  • Certified True Copies
    We can seal and certify true copies for the Foreign Office, Embassies, High Commissions and other documents.
  • Legalisation of Documents
    You can instruct us to apply on your behalf to the Foreign and Commonwealth office to Legalise Documents.
  • Certifications of Identity
    Many authorities and procedures require certifications of applicant’s identities. We can confirm and certify your identity.  This service is a same day service.
  • Witnessing Signatures
    Some documents require a witness to be a Solicitor who must be present at the time of your signature. We can check your identity and witness your signature in our office or at your residence.
  • Photo Identities
    We can certify “a true likeness” of yourself and a photo in your international passport or driving licence or any other type licence. We can also endorse photos as a true likeness of you.

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COMPLIANTS:

Our aim is to deliver quality services that you will be happy with.

If unfortunately, after efforts our effort to do our best we have not got this right, a complaint about our service can be raised, in the first with the lawyer that handled your matter and provided our service to you. All our staff are trained to appreciate that client satisfaction comes first and your lawyer will do his or her best to listen to you, provide an explanation and carry out any remedial actions that you require so that you may become satisfied with our service.

If after the above initial stage you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint you may complain to our Mr Obinna Baranta who is our firm’s complaint manager - by writing to our London address of 51 Fellows Road, London NW3 3DX.

Mr Baranta will do his best to resolve the matter to your satisfaction by reviewing the service we provided to you in a manner that satisfies you.

Mr Baranta will first write to you within 7 working days of hearing from you to acknowledge receipt of your complaint and he will aim to send you a substantive reply to your complaint within 14 working days.

Mr Baranta will investigate your complaint by speaking to the person involved and may telephone you to get more details about our service to you.

If you do not feel comfortable about complaining to Mr Baranta about our service to you because he handled your matter, you may write to Mr Kenny Ogba who has been in practice for over 7 years and who will assist the firm by investigating your complaint with intention of finding a resolution that satisfies you.

If after looking into your complaint and responding to you, you are still not satisfied by our responses you may further complain to the Legal Ombudsman whose address for complaints is PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV19WJ.