When you get divorced how do you deal with your custody, property and support related issues?
These issues are separate from the divorce itself and are usually dealt with through a separation agreement drafted by lawyers prior to a divorce. It is very important to have your separation agreement drawn up by a lawyer for a couple of reasons. First, each couple’s situation is different and with all of the emotions involved in a separation it can be very difficult to come to an agreement with your spouse. Secondly, a lawyer can help you come up with a fair solution which a couple may not have considered or which due to differences of opinion or power imbalances in the relationship would not have been otherwise possible.
Without a lawyer helping you to draft your separation agreement, you run a very large risk that if the situation arises where you need your agreement to be enforced by the courts, they will decline to do so due to technical problems with your agreement, due to problems with signing the agreement under duress or simply because it is not considered fair by the courts. This will in turn result in huge litigation costs which are often greater than if you had no agreement at all.
There is technically no requirement for you to have a Separation Agreement prior to getting divorced. However, you should be aware that if you have children and the court is not convinced that proper arrangements have been made for the children to receive proper support they may not grant you a divorce without an agreement in place.