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What Is A Separation Agreement?

February 2, 2022 Family Law

A Separation Agreement, properly called a Minute of Agreement, is a formal legal document or contract between parties who have separated.  The Agreement sets out the manner in which financial issues are to be resolved.  Entering into a Minute of Agreement allows parties to avoid the need to ask a Sheriff to determine financial matters at court.

A Minute of Agreement is registered at the Registers of Scotland in Edinburgh and, after that has been done, carries the same force as a court order and can be enforced in a similar way.

This depends on the particular circumstances, but would often include the following matters:-

After a Minute of Agreement has been entered into by parties it is difficult for that to be altered, unless both parties agree.  A Minute of Agreement can be challenged on the basis that it was not fair or reasonable at the time it was entered into, but the onus is on the party who wishes to have the Agreement set aside persuading the court that this is the case.   Setting aside a Minute of Agreement on the basis that it was not fair or reasonable at the time it was entered into is not easy as courts attach significant weight to Agreements entered into between parties.

Legal advice is not required, but it is certainly wise to obtain such advice, particularly if one party is in a better financial position or if a separation is acrimonious.  Family Solicitors will be able to advise of issues that should be taken into account and how matrimonial property is divided given the different circumstances of each situation.

There are also various clauses that require to be included within Minutes of Agreement to ensure that they are binding and enforceable and that a client is adequately protected.

If you are looking to seek legal advice for a family law matter, please contact the Jones Whyte Family Department on 0141 736 0011 or via the online.

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