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Separation agreement checklist

Make it Legal™ Checklist

Here are a few important steps to take to finish your document

Read the Separation Agreement carefully to make sure it meets your needs and that everyone involved agrees.

Remember that if you have any questions you can easily Ask a lawyer.

The most important points to help make sure your Agreement is upheld by the courts are:

  • be completely honest with each other
  • both of you should take independent legal advice or at least consider whether to take legal advice before signing
  • the Agreement must be made by both of you, with no undue pressure from either of you
  • your signatures must be witnessed by different witnesses.

For more information, read Separating from your spouse or civil partner.

Have you both either taken independent legal advice or seriously considered it? If not, now is the time to do so.

The Separation Agreement is a special type of contract called a 'deed'. This means it must be signed in a special way:

  • Print a copy of the Separation Agreement for each person (the parties). You must print a copy of your deed and sign it physically. Deeds can legally be signed using electronic signatures, but extra care must be taken when signing electronically to ensure that all of the formalities for the execution of the particular type of deed are met. This deed is, therefore, designed to be signed by hand (ie ‘wet-signed’) to ensure that it is executed correctly. You cannot sign online.
  • You need two different witnesses to witness this Agreement, one for each party. Each witness must be independent, have mental capacity and should:
    • not be a family member
    • not be under the age of 18
  • Each party should sign the Agreement on the line beside their name, using their normal signature in front of their witness.
  • The witness must sign on the line beside the words 'Witness signature' using their normal signature and then add their name address and occupation as noted on the Agreement.
  • Complete the Agreement by writing the date in the space provided at the top.

Make a copy for each party and store the originals safely away.

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