Separating can be difficult and complex. Having a formal separation agreement can help to protect your interests.
What Is A Separation Agreement?
A separation agreement is a written contract between two individuals who are planning to separate (or have already separated) and can be used by both married and unmarried couples. There are many advantages to creating a separation agreement versus going through the traditional court process.
Can You Do Your Own Separation Agreement In Ontario?
Negotiations during or leading up to a separation agreement are simply discussions that the parties have with each other in order to settle their matters. It is always a good idea to have a lawyer present when negotiating the terms of your agreement, to ensure your rights are protected. It also is not necessary for the parties to directly discuss these matters face to face, especially if emotions are too high. In these cases, it is possible to hire lawyers who will act as a channel for negotiations.
Once agreements are reached on both ends about outstanding issues, the agreement will be written into a Separation Agreement. Once it is signed, it becomes a binding legal contract.
Even if you are considering drafting your own agreement, we strongly encourage clients to obtain some preliminary legal advice in advance of any negotiations. Often, we have clients who agreed to terms that significantly depart from their entitlements, and it is much more difficult to “fix” an agreement that was improperly negotiated, than to draft a new one.
Our lawyers will ensure that all of those matters are taken care of properly, so there aren’t any surprises down the road. Our team has extensive experience drafting these agreements from start to finish; this includes providing detailed information on each element required for a legally binding contract between two people wanting an amicable divorce without having to go through a lengthy litigation process.
Benefits of a Separation Agreement
One of the biggest advantages of drafting a separation agreement is the fact that it formally documents the financial agreements agreed upon and the steps that need to be taken. This will help to avoid misunderstandings or tensions in the future.
Other benefits include:
- The process is typically faster than going through court.
- It will also be cheaper than doing everything through court.
- It will help reduce stress and tension during the process.
- It will provide both parties with clarity on financial arrangements.
When entering into a separation agreement, you want to be sure that it will be legally binding, meaning, that a court would uphold it if it were ever challenged. It will be more likely to be held up in court both parties have received independent legal advice on the agreement before entering into it. Additionally, both parties must give full disclosure of their respective financial circumstances, in order to protect the agreement from challenge in the future..