Separation Agreements

A Separation Agreement is a roadmap designed and negotiated with their legal advisors by spouses, partners, and parents for an orderly winding up of their relationship. The agreement entrenches each parties’ respective rights they are entitled to receive from and obligations they may owe to the other. Timelines triggering and concluding these events bring certainty and clarity to the process. The terms of the agreement may describe a single event or may events unfolding over time.

A Separation Agreement includes provisions relating to the division of property values, a child-focused parenting arrangement, all matters relating to financial support.  Included in the document may be ancillary matters dealing with the estate of a spouse, which special expenses will be included in child support, an issue dispute resolution plan or the inclusion of special advisors to guide the parties through the tradition.

Domestic Contract

The Separation Agreement is one form of a Domestic Contract, the umbrella term for a restricted list of specialty family law contracts. To be enforceable, the Separation Agreement must meet formal requirements. These requirements include:

  • The contract must be in writing
  • Each party must sign before a witness
  • The witnesses must also add their signatures to the document, and
  • The date when the last signatory signed must be indicated

Domestic Contracts include cohabitation agreements, marriage contracts, paternity agreements, separation agreements, and family arbitration agreements.

Subsequent or Amending Agreements

As time passes, the parent/child relationships evolve.  These changes will impact parental roles, financial support, time spent together and decision-making responsibilities. The Separation Agreement should be formally amended to reflect these significant changes and any other event which impacts on the original terms of the agreement.

Custom Agreements

A Separation Agreement allows for the spouses and partners to find their voice to negotiate what each needs, wants, and may be entitled to receive with an eye to what the courts would order in similar circumstances. Keeping a watch on how judges have decided related matters, family law lawyers can guide and advise their clients on a range of matters they face negotiating the breakdown of their relationship.

Exchange of Full Financial Disclosure

To negotiation from a position of knowledge and confidence there must be comprehensive financial disclosure exchanged between the parties before the financial implications of any decisions can be properly assessed. Requests to provide proper values of all assets, debts, and liabilities must be answered to the satisfaction of the requesting client. Documentation supporting the financial position is provided before any contract is signed.