The most usual and certain way of resolving financial issues upon separation is for the parties to file an application for a consent order at Court after decree nisi.
However for various reasons some couples will wish to avoid or defer proceedings for divorce. Those reasons can include religious [although judicial separation can partly address this, see separate briefing note on this site] or a desire to avoid an immediate divorce – which under current law must be on a “fault” basis [see separate briefing note on this site]. Sometimes it is legally advisable to avoid a divorce – for example with elderly parties where a divorce may create disadvantages concerning pension rights if one party should predecease the other.
In those instances a Deed of Separation can enable parties to enter into an agreement regulating their financial affairs. We are cautious about advising clients to enter these agreements. Although Courts will often uphold these agreements they are not necessarily bound to do so.