Once parties reach an agreement regarding the division of their property after separation, it is important to have the settlement formalised by either a Court Order or a Binding Financial Agreement.
Sometimes people will simply write up an informal agreement at home and sign it. However, without either a Court Order or Financial Agreement, any agreement you reach will not be binding or enforceable. This means that either party can seek to renegotiate the agreement, or make an application to the Court for a property settlement at a later date. This can lead to the burden of legal costs and the stress of dealing with a Court proceeding for a property settlement, sometimes many years after you separated.
Having an agreement formalised once you reach a settlement is highly recommended and will alleviate any concerns about a settlement being challenged at a later date (other than in exceptional circumstances). It will also give you the comfort of being able to deal with any assets in the knowledge that a settlement with a former spouse has been dealt with.
Arrangements regarding your children do not necessarily need to be by way of a formal binding agreement if both parties can make amicable arrangements for the children. However there will be occasions when having a Court Order regarding the parenting arrangements for your children may be required, or a sensible way of dealing with the arrangements so there is no doubt about when the children will spend time with both of their parents or other significant people in their lives. We would recommend that parties seek advice about these matters.