Separation Agreements in Scotland

Deciding to separate can bring with it a multitude of emotions. Alongside these come a wide variety of matters that need to be agreed upon such as the division of your finances and assets, establishing childcare arrangements, and determining ownership of the family home. All of these can be addressed in a separation agreement.

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Claire Christie - Legal Director of Family Law

Claire Christie

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Sophie Greig — Family Law Solicitor

Sophie Greig



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Garden Stirling Burnet Staff

Rebecca Duncan

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Lesley Holburn

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Formulating a separation agreement in the event of a subsequent divorce or civil partnership dissolution can help lessen any cost, stress, or time spent in court.

They can however be complex to draw up and may require the consideration of several scenarios. That is why you should always entrust a skilled solicitor to carry out the work rather than draft your own.

At Garden Stirling Burnet, our team of experienced family law solicitors is here to provide you with straightforward and practical advice and draw up a separation agreement tailored to your specific circumstances and wishes.

What is a Separation Agreement?

Separation Agreements, also known as a Minute of Agreement, stand as the most common way to resolve and agree upon child-related and/or financial matters following a separation in Scotland. It covers matters such as what will happen to pensions, savings, and who looks after the children.

Whether the individuals involved are a married couple, cohabiting partners, or in a civil partnership, seeking the guidance of a specialised family law solicitor is crucial in preparing these formal and legally binding contracts.

Drawn up following direct discussions between the parties involved, or through mediation, collaborative law, or solicitor negotiation, they will aim to capture the wishes of both parties whilst dealing with separation disputes to negate the need to attend court.

Once signed, a separation agreement represents a full and final legal settlement that neither party can come back on and change, unless under extreme circumstances.

What is contained in a Separation Agreement?

Whilst separation agreements depend on individual circumstances, they will commonly provide for the following financial matters:

  • Transfer or sale of the family home
  • Pension sharing
  • Payment of a capital sum
  • Payment of spousal support (known as aliment) until divorce
  • Payment of spousal support (known as periodical allowance) after divorce
  • Closure of joint bank accounts and joint credit facilities

Separation agreements involving child matters commonly provide for:-

  • Where a child shall reside (either with one parent or shared care)
  • Contact with the parent the child does not reside with
  • Holiday arrangements
  • Child maintenance payments
  • Payment of ancillary costs for children such as nursery fees, tutors, school fees

If both child and financial matters require to be resolved, these can all form part of the same Separation Agreement.

Preliminary Minute of Agreement

In situations where there is an urgent or time-critical matter that requires immediate resolution following separation, it is possible to enter into a Preliminary Minute of Agreement which deals only with the pressing issue.

All other rights and obligations of the parties following separation or divorce are preserved as part of the Preliminary Minute of Agreement and can be dealt with in a subsequent Agreement known as a Supplementary Minute of Agreement.

Matters that are typically addressed through such agreements include urgent housing matters, such as the sale of a joint property or the acquisition of a new property using joint funds following a separation.   

Contact Garden Stirling Burnet to discuss your Separation Agreement

Separation Agreements play an important role in providing a legally binding framework for resolving issues that may arise from separation.

Consulting with a family law solicitor is essential in ensuring that these tailored agreements accurately reflect the wishes of both parties and your unique circumstances. Get in touch with one of our team at Garden Stirling Burnet today for a confidential chat.

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