When a husband and wife are preparing for the possibility of a Divorce and they are (or will be) separated (i.e. living in separate households), a document known as a Deed of Separation may be prepared to help them set out the key facts and terms which they have both willingly agreed to in relation to the breakdown of their marriage and how their Ancillary Matters (e.g. maintenance, division of matrimonial assets, children) will be dealt with in the event that the parties obtains a Divorce, such as the following:
The relationship / marriage has irretrievably broken down
The commencement / start date of the separation (i.e. the date on which the parties first separated or began to live in separate households)
How the ongoing separation will take place and be managed in relation to the following
The parties’ living and financial arrangements
The children’s’ living, access and financial arrangements
How much maintenance will be paid to the wife and children
How the couple’s matrimonial assets and properties will be divided
How the couple’s debts will be paid
How the couple’s children will be cared for (e.g. Custody, Care and Control, Access)
Whether either party may obtain a Divorce through uncontested Divorce Proceedings and Ancillary Proceedings when the 3 years’ or 4 years’ separation period has been completed
A Deed of Separation can provide for the terms to be revised and renegotiated (e.g. if there is a material change in the parties’ circumstances)
This also helps to ensure that the terms of the Deed of Separation remain relevant and pragmatic and are capable of being complied with over time
Jonathan is a family justice lawyer in Singapore. He graduated from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom in 2002 and was called to the Bar of England and Wales (Gray’s Inn) in 2003.
Jonathan is experienced in handling family and divorce mediation, matrimonial law litigation and also all aspects of trial litigation including conducting negotiations and trials as well as presenting appeals in the High Court and Court of Appeal.