Written by: Lillian T.N. MacKenzie.
Separation Agreements are contracts between two separating spouses. A separation Agreement can give you everything a court can give you with one exception, a divorce. It is therefore possible for non-married persons to never file any court papers but rather conduct themselves solely by way of agreement.
Separation Agreements are meant to be a complete agreement on all issues. They set out what separating spouses want to do relative to support, property division, care and control, etc. In order for the lawyer to properly advise you as to whether the agreements you reach are fair the lawyer will require disclosure relative to assets, debts and income. They then compare what you would like to do against what the law provides so that any decision you make is fully informed.
Both parties should receive independent legal advice when executing the Separation Agreement. This is the only way to ensure that the Agreement is as binding as possible. If one party does not get a lawyer they can challenge the Agreement on the basis of not having had the benefit of independent legal advice if they ever change their mind in the future.
Some situations require that there be two lawyers involved, these include where real property is being transferred from one spouse to another, where a homestead release is being signed and where either spouse is waiving rights to the other’s pension.
Our lawyers have had extensive experience in drafting Separation Agreements that meet a family’s needs; 75% of our firm’s files relate to managing breakdowns in family relationships. Schedule a free consultation to see how we can assist you in organizing your new family structure.
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