Separation agreement lawyer in North York

Separation Agreement is a formal contract drafted specifically for amicably separating on a clearly stated date, and may include terms regarding spousal support, child support, division of property, possession of matrimonial home, parenting time and decision-making responsibility of child(ren) (if any), and any other relevant issues. So, what to ask a family lawyer about separation agreement?

How is separation agreement different from divorce?

Divorce is the lawful dissolution of a marriage. When two persons who solemnized a lawful marriage, wish to separate legally, they file for a divorce in the court. Whereas, when common-law partners wish to separate, they get a separation agreement to decide on all the claims and issues.

Any person, married or in a common law relationship can get a separation agreement.

In most cases, except in case of adultery, mental or physical cruelty, one can file for a divorce if they have been living separate and apart for at least one year prior to filing for divorce. Separation Agreement does not have any such prerequisites.

Divorce certificated entitles the (ex)spouses to re-marry, whereas a mere separation agreement means that the spouses are still legally married. This renders any remarriage by them to be void.

Can I change the terms of agreement later?

In ordinary circumstances, one cannot change the terms of their separation agreement, unless otherwise provided for in the separation agreement. For example, the agreement may include contingency clause regarding the validity of all or any of the terms specified in the agreement. However, if there has been a change in the situation since the agreement was signed, one can bring a motion in the court to amend the term affected by such change in the circumstances.

What to ask a lawyer about separation agreement financially?

Separation agreements are drafted as per the specific needs of the parties involved. For example, some parties may opt to divide their property equally, however, some may opt to part ways with only their respective properties. Similarly, for support, some may decide on a set amount of monthly or lumpsum spousal and/or child support, while others may agree on no such support payments.

Although it depends on the parties as to what they wish to include in their separation agreements, it is important for them to be aware of the claims they are entitled to. 

The Divorce Act applies to married spouses. Under this Act, the spouses can claim for a divorce order, spousal support, child support in table amount and section 7 expenses, along with decision making responsibility and parenting time with the child.

The Family Law Act, and the Children’s Law Reform Act, applies to both marries spouses as well as common law partners. Under these Acts, the partners can claim spousal support, child support in table amount, section 7 expenses for the child, decision making responsibility, parenting time, restraining order, among other such claims.  

It is important to know what you can claim because it may vary owing to different circumstances of each case. Therefore, it is best to consult a lawyer to understand your claims and rights before signing a legally binding document, such as a separation agreement.

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