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Deed of Reconciliation and Separation

Every marriage, like life, has its highs and lows. Sometimes, some space is necessary for all parties involved in order to clear the air and come to terms with what needs to be done in order to move forward. However, getting a divorce is as life-changing a decision as marriage is. Spouses may just need some time on their own to decide if they want to save the marriage and how.

What is a Deed of Separation?

A Deed of Separation is a document that states the terms and conditions of the relationship during this period of separation. In the meantime, parties can still work on reconciliation and mending the relationship.

What happens after the Separation agreement is signed?

The Deed of Separation sets out the parameters of the relationship between you and your spouse during the period of separation. There are two main issues that are dealt with in the Deed of Separation. First, the living arrangements of the parties when the separation takes effect, and the agreement itself that both spouses will live separately. Second, the financial arrangements between the parties. This can be anything, and range from maintenance, to the usage of matrimonial assets (such as cars or bank accounts) and can also extend to the living arrangements of any child or children of the marriage.

Can a deed of separation be changed?

As far as the division of assets and responsibilities go, a Deed of Separation is similar to a divorce agreement. Again, similar to a consent divorce agreement, a Deed of Separation can only take effect with the consent of both parties. Further, the Deed of Separation is a private document and is not required to be lodged with any government departments; as with any private document, the Deed of Separation can also be revoked at any time by the consent of both parties.

However, be wary that the Family Court can set aside the terms of the Deed of Separation that it considers to be unfair or improper unless the court has officially sanctioned the DeedDeed.

Therein lies the difference between a Deed of Separation and Divorce. A Deed of Separation only sets out the agreement by which the parties can live apart, but both parties will still be considered legally married despite the Deed of Separation.

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How long should a separation last before divorce?

As a precursor to divorce, this provides a method to satisfy the facts to provide the ground for the breakdown of the marriage. In Singapore, before you can apply to get a divorce, you have to be married for at least three years.

Therefore, if you are certain that you cannot live a person any longer but have not crossed the three-year mark to apply for a divorce, a Deed of Separation may be useful as it will have the same effect until a divorce can be attained. A well-drafted Deed of Separation may also eventually be converted into a consent order for the divorce (i.e. the terms of the Deed of Separation being transplanted into the divorce order), thus saving time and costs. Alternatively, and more hopefully, because a Deed of Separation does not sever the marriage, it is also useful for spouses who hope or have the chance to reconcile in the future.

Can I see other people during the separation?

You may see other people while separated. However, this is subject to what you have agreed upon in the DeedDeed of separation. A well-drafted deed of separation will have provided for these situations, to allow parties to be free to live as if they are not married to each other.

How we can help

Divorce is a massive emotional and life-changing decision to make. There are other steps that a couple may take prior to divorce to see if the marriage can be saved or their issues settled in a different manner without resorting to divorce. If you are considering spending a period of time away from your spouse, please contact us, and we will have a fruitful consultation on your available options. 

Speak to a lawyer now

CONTACT US TODAY

Our specialised lawyers and their team are standing by to assist you. Our first consultation is free.

The information contained within this website contains general information about our lawyers, Law Firm and procedures and is not intended to constitute legal advice.
Any person viewing or receiving information from this Website should not act or refrain from acting, on the basis of any such information without first seeking appropriate legal advice.
Please consult a lawyer for specific review of your case and advise. 

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