A Separation Agreement is a private contract made between separating spouses, or common law partners, in an effort to resolve property, support, or parenting issues.
Due to the fact that these issues can be quite complicated, they can have a major and long-term impact on your rights and obligations. Therefore, consulting with a lawyer to assist with the drafting and review of the Agreement is a wise idea.
Separating spouses can use the same lawyer to draft the Agreement, but they cannot use the same lawyer to provide independent legal advice with respect to their Agreement. To ensure you are advised properly with respect to the consequences and implications of executing a Separation Agreement, you must retain a different lawyer than the opposing party does.
What are the benefits of a Separation Agreement? The negotiation or mediation of a Separation Agreement is typically less costly than commencing a Court action. 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 making concessions.
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.
When entering into a Separation Agreement, be mindful that providing financial disclosure to the other party is extremely important.
When parties are negotiating support and property issues, providing your financial disclosure will reduce the potential for the other party to state that they were unaware of your financial circumstances. This reduces the likelihood of having your Separation Agreement challenged in the future by your ex spouse.
In fact, exchanging financial disclosure and obtaining independent legal advice for both parties will result in a Separation Agreement that stands a greater chance of holding up in court.
A Separation Agreement may be used to resolve some issues or all issues in your matter. Also, in order for a Separation Agreement to be binding, both parties have to sign the Agreement, and have it witnessed.
If you would like to speak with one of our lawyers regarding further issues related to this topic please contact us at (416) 840-1475 or schedule your free initial consultation here.