For couples contemplating a separation, most people understand the starting point for a division of relationship property is a 50/50 equal split.
The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 details how the property of spouses, de facto and civil union partners, is divided at the end of a relationship. The Act recognises the equal contributions of both partners to a relationship, and the general presumption is that property is divided equally.
However, there are often exceptions, special circumstances, allowances, or departures from the legislation which individuals may be eligible for, or decide they wish to depart from the standard entitlements agreement about.
Something people are often unaware of, is that for an Agreement to be valid and binding between couples, both parties must obtain legal advice independent of the other from separate lawyers to ensure the effects and implications of the Agreement were explained to them.
The respective lawyers must also then witness signatures and certify they have explained the effects and implications of the Agreement to each party.
If you are considering a separation, require independent advice, or have any questions about the next steps to formalise an arrangement, please contact Matthew Haggart or call us on 03 477 8080.