Separation agreements – do they offer “full protection”?

separation agreement

The Telegraph printed an article about a mother suing her solicitor for £15,000,000 for a failed agreement. This may cause alarm to both family lawyers and those who have had separation agreements drafted recently.

The article suggests that Mrs Mathiesen went to see solicitors to have an agreement drawn up giving her “full protection”.  Only a consent order at the conclusion of a divorce can achieve this. However, there are many benefits of having a separation agreement. Correctly drawn up, the terms should be upheld by a court.

You can read more about separation agreements and whether they can be challenged here.

Separation agreements and agreed clauses

Separation agreements however, like consent orders, can only contain agreed clauses. It is essential to understand those clauses and to ensure that where you have a specific goal, this is discussed with your solicitor in plain English and any questions you have, are answered before you sign.

Remember as well that you cannot force someone into an agreement.

I recently spoke with a client who intended to use a template separation agreement from a website. Please be wary. These documents will only help you if your situation is very simple indeed.

It is well worth the cost of having a properly drawn up separation agreement. You need to ensure that what happens to your assets is what you thought was going to happen.

I have no idea what happened in Mrs Mathiesen’s case but it certainly looks as though this was not a family law issue in itself but a company law issue.

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