Do I need to be divorced to obtain a financial settlement?
A formal, legally binding document, outlining the terms of the financial agreement can only be obtained from the court once the divorce or annulment process has reached a certain stage. This document cannot be acquired unless this step has been taken.
In some instances, couples do not wish to proceed with the divorce, and instead wish to defer this step. In this instance, agreement can still be reached, although a court ordered settlement cannot be granted. A document known as a Separation Agreement can however, be produced, which will embody the terms of the agreement reached. This is simply a paper exercise and does not involve the court. Once the divorce process has commenced, the terms of the Separation Agreement can then be converted into a legally binding document, which is known as a Consent Order. The Consent Order will be placed before a judge, and provided they approve the terms of the agreement, then the agreement will then become legally binding.