Whilst this can be an emotional and stressful time, at Stalwart Solicitors we will ensure you are guided through the process coming out of the other end looking confidentially at the future .

Cohabitation agreements – expect the unexpected

You may be thinking about cohabiting and want to formalise the living arrangements so that everyone is clear as to where they stand. A Cohabitation Agreement is a legally binding document entered into by both of you to regulate your affairs in relation to money, property, and can also cover children issues, during the time that you are living together. It can also deal with what will happen if you split up. A written agreement can avoid a great deal of unpleasantness and cost by avoiding arguments in the first place. Please Contact Us to discuss this further.

After Seperation

You may be considering separation or have already separated from your partner. Whatever stage of separation you are at we can assist you with realistic, empathetic advice to help you clearly see the path ahead.

Child Maintenance / Child Support

The absent parent (non–resident parent) has an obligation to maintain the children. If you are unable to agree the amount that the absent parent is to contribute towards their maintenance, an application to the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) (formerly the Child Support Agency (CSA)) can be made.

Here are some answers to questions you may have:

What are my options to resolve Separation Disputes?

There are many ways that matters can be resolved including through personal discussion between the parties, solicitor negotiations, mediation, arbitration or Court proceedings. Mediation and arbitration are alternative way to resolve disputes. Mediation is a completely voluntary process involving the separating couple attending meetings to resolve issues of separation, property, finance, children and the majority of issues arising out of a separation. Mediation is not legally binding. During arbitration the parties enter into an agreement under which they appoint a suitably qualified person (an arbitrator) to adjudicate a dispute. The arbitrator’s final decision is a binding ruling, known as an “award”. We will discuss all options with you to assist you in making the best choice to resolve matters as swiftly and pain free as possible.

What happens if we can reach an agreement ?
It is always preferable if you and your partner are able to agree how the assets are to be divided. If an agreement is reached this can be recorded in a Separation Agreement or Consent Order.
What is the difference between a Separation Agreement and Consent Order?
A Separation Agreement allows you to document an agreement between the parties when you do not wish to enter into a Consent Order. However, it is a Contractual Agreement and may not be binding upon the Court or either party to dismiss financial claims, which would not provide financial certainty. A Consent Order can be entered into with agreement of the parties. Once signed by the parties it can be made legally binding by the Court and resolve the financial matters between the parties without having to issue Court Proceedings.
What happens if we can’t agree?

If you cannot reach agreement you can make an application to the Court, after the MIAM requirements to consider mediation has been met.
If your partner refuses to co-operate or it is not otherwise possible to conclude an agreement, then it will be necessary to make an application under Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 and / or Schedule 1 of the Children’s Act 1989 to enable the Court to determine how the assets are to be divided.

How long will Court proceedings last?

Applications under Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 and Schedule 1 of the Children’s Act 1989 are often costly and time consuming. As a rough estimate proceedings could last between 8- 12 months if matters progress to a Final Hearing. We will always keep you updated as your matter progresses.

How much will it cost?

Stalwart Solicitors charges at the hourly rate of £250 and disbursements for all work conducted in relation to cohabitation issues. Please see our pricing page for further information on our fees.

Contact us for additional information and
to book your free 30 minute consultation.