Today, I have a number of practical tips about Separation Agreements.
What is a Separation Agreement?
A Separation Agreement is a private or domestic contract made between separating spouses, or common law partners, in an effort to resolve parenting issues, child and/or spousal support, and division of property.
Since these issues can be quite complicated, they can have a major and long-term impact on your legal rights and obligations. Therefore, it is a wise idea to consult with a family lawyer to assist you with the drafting and review of a Separation Agreement.
Please note that separating spouses cannot use the same lawyer to provide independent legal advice with respect to their Separation Agreement. To ensure you are advised properly about the consequences and implications of signing a Separation Agreement, you must retain a different lawyer than the other party.
What are the benefits of a Separation Agreement?
The negotiation or mediation of a Separation Agreement is typically less costly than going through court. That’s the good news.
However, in order to effectively negotiate a Separation Agreement, both parties must be willing to come to the table with a cooperative attitude and a mindset of working together to try to achieve the best results.
Having said that, each party should be acting voluntarily and not subject to any duress as a result of the actions of the opposing party. Otherwise, this may be a reason for setting aside the Separation Agreement in the future.
How do I know if my Separation Agreement is valid?
When entering into a Separation Agreement, be mindful that providing full and frank financial disclosure to the other party is extremely important.
When parties are negotiating support or property issues, providing your financial disclosure will reduce the potential for the other party to say that they were unaware of your financial circumstances. This reduces the likelihood of having the validity of your Separation Agreement challenged by your ex in the future.
In fact, if both parties exchange financial disclosure and obtain independent legal advice, this will result in a Separation Agreement that stands a greater chance of holding up in court, and reduces the risk of it being set aside.
A Separation Agreement may be used to resolve some or all issues in your family law matter. Once the Separation Agreement is signed by both parties, witnessed and dated, it is a binding legal document.
Thank you for taking the time to watch this video. I hope that these tips about Separation Agreements have been useful to you. If you need more information and wish to schedule a consultation, please visit our website or contact our office at (905) 581-7222.