A separation agreement can be a cost-effect way of resolving family law issues that arise upon separation. Separation agreements are a contract between two separated parties that can address many family law issues, such as parenting schedules, custody, child and spousal support, the division of property and the manner in which the matrimonial home should be dealt with. There are numerous ways that these issues can be resolved by way of an agreement and it is important to consult a lawyer, who can advise you as to your rights and obligations under the applicable family law and can ensure that the separation agreement is drafted in accordance with the relevant legislation such as the Family Law Act and Divorce Act. A lawyer can forward negotiations on your behalf in an effort to resolve issues of dispute between you and your former spouse, in a manner that is in accordance with the law.
For a separation agreement to be enforceable, it is crucial for you and your spouse to exchange financial disclosure, regarding your income and assets. At a minimum, it is important to exchange your last three years of tax returns along with a financial statement disclosing the assets owned at the date of marriage and separation. Exchange of more detailed disclosure may be necessary in situations of more complex property and/or support issues.
Finally, once the separation agreement has been drafted, you and your former spouse, will need to each meet with your own lawyer to thoroughly review the agreement and to obtain independent legal advice. The agreement will be executed by both parties signing the agreement in the presence of a witness. Agreements that are entered into, without the exchange of sufficient financial disclosure, or without each party obtaining independent legal advice, run the risk of being set aside by a Court, should conflict arise in the future. This can be a costly difficult process, which can often be avoided by a consulting with a lawyer at the onset.
Call us today to speak with one of our Toronto Family Law Contracts and Agreements Lawyers with respect to your cohabitation agreement (also known as a prenuptial agreement), marriage agreement (also known as a postnuptial agreement), or separation agreement needs.
By Katie Gaboury, Associate Lawyer at Separy Law P.C.