If your marriage or civil partnership doesn't work out, mutually agreeing on the practical matters when you separate can help smooth the process and save time and money. A Separation agreement records who is entitled to the assets, both in terms of finances and possessions, and it contains everything needed to protect both parties throughout the separation proceedings, ensuring that both parties comply with the law. It covers a range of issues, including periodic payments during the separation, administration of the marital property, division of assets and funds, as well as the status of funds in joint bank accounts. For further information read Separating from your spouse or civil partner.
If the relationship breaks down between you and your partner, it's important to make sure you have all the right documents in place to minimise complications and unnecessary stress.
If you choose to make a Separation agreement with your spouse or civil partner, this will ensure that most of the practical matters are dealt with in advance of the divorce or dissolution. Remember to inform everyone about your Change of address when you move out of the shared home. If you own a property together under a joint tenancy, this may also be the right time to Sever the joint tenancy and become tenants in common. If, upon marriage or civil partnership, you adopted your spouse's surname, a decree absolute (for marriage) or final order (for civil partnership) can be used to revert to your old surname. However if any other name change was carried out you can change it with a Statutory declaration of name change. Finally if you have a Will, you should review it at this point to make sure that it reflects any new wishes and new circumstances.