When a marriage breaks down there are three main areas which usually need legal consideration
- The Status of the Relationship - Should there be a divorce or legal separation
- The Children
- Financial Matters Generally
It is often the case these three areas are interlinked although each do often need separate consideration.
There are a number of options available to a couple following the breakdown of a relationship. The most common of these are separation and divorce.
Separation may happen when the couple do not wish to obtain a divorce and simply decide to live separately and apart. This can sometimes offer space and time for future decisions to be made clearly regarding personal and family issues. In some cases after a period of separation couples may decide that they should be together and resume the marriage.
In many cases however separation can lead to matters being unresolved particularly where property, finances and children are concerned. In these circumstances a Separation Agreement can be entered into which will clarify matters for both parties.
This agreement is something that the couple will both have consented to enter into and is subject to basic Contract Law. Before entering into any agreement the couple would be advised to seek independent legal advice.
The downside to a Separation Agreement is that the couple will not achieve the same finality as a divorce and may decide at a later data that a divorce is what they do in fact want.