You never expected to be going through it, yet here you are: considering a separation or divorce. And the process is much more stressful and costly than you could’ve anticipated.
A relationship ending can be messy no matter the situation, but things get especially complicated when factors like property, children, and debt are involved. Although the process isn’t ideal, there are ways you can make it a little easier.
One of these ways is a separation agreement. Let’s look at what exactly a separation agreement is and why you need one if you’re considering splitting up.
For help drafting an agreement, you should work with a divorce lawyer with experience and knowledge of any legal requirements you’ll need to abide by. You can get matched to the best divorce lawyer for you today, free on Vexxit.
What is a separation agreement?
Simply put, a separation agreement is a legal contract drafted by a couple that outlines how they've settled any issues related to their separation.
These issues may include:
Estate / death rights of each spouse
Custody of / access to children
If spousal support will be paid
Child support payments
How you’ll divide property (including pets, cars, bank accounts, pensions, and insurance plans)
How you’ll divide debts (including credit card debt, car loans, mortgages)
Why should you create a separation agreement?
Although it’s not a requirement in the separation process, crafting a separation agreement can make things easier and less costly for both parties. When easily agreed upon, the agreement can save a lot of time and can prevent lengthy court proceedings. A physical, written document is also not necessary, but having one is strongly encouraged to help prove the terms of your agreement if issues ever do arise in the future.
You can draft a separation agreement on your own or with a mediator or arbitrator, but it’s strongly recommended that you work with a lawyer who specializes in divorce. Having a lawyer review the agreement before signing assures that the document meets any provincial requirements, has been drafted properly, and will be binding and enforceable by the courts.
Tips for creating a separation agreement
Each party should have independent legal representation in the event that the separation process moves to court.
If you are not working with a lawyer to draft the agreement, it’s still important to have a lawyer review the final document for any errors or requirements that you might’ve missed.
Be clear and specific about all terms listed in the agreement (any terms that are unclear or unreasonable may not be accepted).
Be thorough when providing financial or legal information, and be sure to receive confirmation of any information you disclose to avoid claims of omittance later on.
List all details accurately (the full legal name of each spouse, date of separation, etc).
Be sure you are fully educated about your legal rights and completely comfortable before signing anything. Do not sign anything if you are feeling rushed, pressured, or unsure.
Again, it’s important to work with a lawyer who specializes in divorce when drafting or reviewing a separation agreement. Vexxit does the hard work of finding a vetted professional who is right for you.