16th April 2024|In Latest News, Divorce & Separation

Seven Ways You Can Get a Separation Agreement

The prospect of going to court is a concern for many couples looking to separate. They might have nightmares about being financial or emotional drained, or about unjust court decisions. Rest assured, the majority of these concerns are unfounded. 

The court is available to provide assistance as a last resort, which is best used only if the other six ways you can get a separation agreement are either inappropriate or have been tried and failed.

1.Correspondence with Solicitors: A separation agreement can sometimes be finalised simply by emails between lawyers and clients. When there is mutual consent to the separation, no requirement for formal mediation or legal counsel, and a desire to avoid unnecessary hassle, this is the usual procedure to follow. 

2. Mediation: Mediation can be a solution when spouses are having trouble reaching a separation agreement, despite their sincere wish to do so. A separating couple may seek the advice of an impartial third party, such as a family lawyer, to mediate their disputes. 

In order to create an amicable separation agreement, a mediator assists spouses in finding common ground on the issues they are having (typically, children, money, or property). Agreements made through mediation not only save time and money, but they also tend to have more amicable long-term results than going to court.

3.Hybrid Mediation: When a separation is less clear-cut, hybrid mediation may be a viable solution. This could be relevant in cases where the parties to the divorce have strong opinions about the conditions of the separation or if there has been evidence of abuse or coercion. 

Hybrid mediations differ from traditional mediations in that both sides are represented by solicitors, but they do not physically meet in the same room. On the contrary, the mediator moves between them, facilitating their agreement. In certain cases, third parties, such as family therapists, may be invited to participate in hybrid mediations.

4.Arbitration: When a couple is separating and cannot agree on anything, but are ready to accept the decision of an impartial third party, arbitration can be a good option for reaching a separation agreement. 

Similar to a mediator, an arbitrator makes binding, final rulings that the separating couple must follow. 

The couple can specify the scope of the arbitrator’s authority before the arbitration process begins. For instance, they might reach a consensus on matters pertaining to their children, but hold differing opinions regarding their joint financial matters. Therefore, they might want to ask the arbitrator to focus solely on the money in this instance. In addition to deciding when and where the arbitration will take place, they will have the ability to choose the arbitrator or panel.

5.Collaborative Law: Collaborative law allows parties to form a separation agreement in a voluntary and confidential manner. The separating couple and their respective family lawyers convene in a four-way meeting to discuss possible solutions.

In collaborative law, the separating couple agrees to communicate openly, honestly, and respectfully; they agree to maintain confidentiality; they agree to provide full and accurate disclosure of information; they agree to work together to find a mutually agreeable solution that satisfies both parties’ interests; and they agree to refrain from going to court.

Collaborative law can involve a number of different professionals, such as financial advisors and mental health specialists, as needed, in addition to the separating couple and their solicitors.

6.Private Hearings: In a private hearing, each party in a separating couple will have their own team of lawyers and will select a private judge.

After listening to both parties’ arguments, the judge will offer their advice for the decision that family courts would make in this type of case. Either final talks or submission to the court for permission can follow this decision.

One advantage of a private hearing is that the separating couple gets to choose the judge. This gives them the chance to choose someone they trust to be fair and knowledgeable enough to make a decent decision.

7.Going to Court: You may have to resort to going to court if reaching a separation agreement truly proves to be an insurmountable obstacle. Most people’s concerns about going to court are exaggerated, but we nevertheless advise trying the aforementioned options before going to court. Seek the counsel of an experienced family lawyer in such cases.

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