Legal Separation

Minute of Agreement

If you are not sure if you want to get a divorce, you must get a legal separation document drawn up, this means you are financially separating and giving yourself some time before making any final and definite decisions.

The legal separation document may take a few months to compile as you need to discuss what you consider reasonable and the document will be sent to either parties lawyers.

This will take into consideration;

  • Property
  • Assets
  • Children
  • Vehicles
  • Debt
  • Pets
  • Policies
  • Pensions etc.

What’s Fair?

If you haven’t got a Pre-Nuptial Agreement in place, you will have to be very clear with each other before getting lawyers involved (where possible).  Absolutely everything in your life will be split down the middle, unless either party feels it should be another split i.e. 60/40.  In most cases the children stay with the primary carer, this is usually the mother, however it depends who wants custody of any kids and what the circumstances are.  The legal separation will outline everything and its a document you can refer to if you decide to divorce.

Legal Aid

In some cases legal aid is available for people who are on minimum wage or not working at all, you must tell the lawyer when you make an appointment if you will be paying it yourself, or asking for legal aid help.  Some legal firms advertise if they welcome legal aid in their practice.  We recommend Help with Family Law who are in Edinburgh and Glasgow.  If you can afford to, we recommend you pay the bill yourself, as you may feel you get more time to ask a wide variety of questions etc.

How is debt split?

In most cases partners have taken on debt together for their home and lifestyle, unless you have an agreement, you may find that the debt is automatically split down the middle and both parties need to speak to the lender to organise the repayment and advise of a change in circumstances.  Companies are usually fairly helpful as they appreciate its already a stressful time.  If you don’t financially separate, each other could be running up debt if you are separated and the other person knows nothing about it, until a divorce.

Tips

  • Tell your lawyer about all loans, credit cards and store cards
  • Get everything signed off as an agreement ASAP
  • Get bank accounts and credit cards etc. all sorted with correct names