You should only sign a Financial Agreement AFTER you have had the required legal advice .
So by this stage you have had your legal advice and your lawyer has provided you with a certificate of Independent Advice. You are ready to sign the agreement in front of your witness. I know I’m stating the obvious but …. Do not sign it if your witness is not present.
1. Ensure that both original, signed, solicitor certificates of advice are inserted in the agreement .
2. A space to hand write the date is on the first page. Date the agreement as at the time of signing, remembering that your agreement must be dated after the date you have both received your legal advice .
3. If your agreement is a separation or divorce agreement – sign the Certificate as to Separation / Certificate of Divorce on Page 1
4. Insert the details of your witness on the signature panel , where block letters are required make sure it is legible and that you have not placed signatures in those sections. We recommend using a JP to witness your signature (more about that in the next section).
5. Initial each page of the agreement
Although not a legal requirement, it is common practice for the parties to initial each page of the agreement. By doing so, you indicates each party’s agreement to the provisions on each page which makes it harder (but not impossible) for the contract to be tampered with by replacing the pages.
6. Sign the signature panel at the end of the agreement in the presence of an appropriate witness . Make sure you use your normal signature and it is clear.
7. Sign the Acknowledgement of Party located at the end of your Financial Agreement
8. Make as many copies of the signed agreement as you like. One person should keep the original agreement that has been signed by both parties, the other person should keep a full copy. Do not give your copy to anyone else, it is the only proof you have that the agreement exists
9. Any related correspondence from your lawyer should also be filed away or stored in a safe place with your documentation, including the letter of advice issued by your solicitor.