14 Feb Everything to Know About Separation Agreements
Separations can quickly become a disaster. Many emotions are at play, and when they are heightened, they influence your capacity to perceive messages, often resulting in misunderstanding and poor decision-making. This is why a separation agreement is necessary. A separation agreement can assist you in determining what your life will be like following your divorce. It relieves any doubt you have, while also assisting you in resolving your disagreement with your ex-partner. You can draft your own separation agreement, but keep in mind this is a document which will have a significant influence on your future. This is why it’s critical to engage with a family lawyer specializing in divorce and separation, to relieve some tension and assure that your separation agreement will last. The correct divorce or separation specialist will also assist you in navigating your divorce as smoothly as possible. It’s never easy, but it doesn’t always have to be a battle.
A separation agreement lays out the conditions of your divorce as well as the terms of your separate settlement. When correctly drafted, these agreements spell out several long-term choices that you and your ex will have to make. This involves property division, child support, financial responsibilities and parenting arrangements, among other things.
A separation agreement should be drafted since it eliminates any doubt about the arrangements you’ve made together. Having everything in writing gives you peace of mind and makes the divorce process smoother for everyone involved. You’ll need to negotiate with a divorce lawyer to reach such an agreement. Having a lawyer help you create the agreement will guarantee that it is legally enforceable, if there are any future concerns. If your relationship with your ex is friendly, you may be able to use our DIY separation services as well.
There are three distinct sorts of separations to consider when deciding to split from your partner:
- Trial Separation. A trial separation is an option if you and your spouse need to spend time apart before deciding whether to proceed with a divorce. The same laws apply to a trial separation as they do when married but living apart. All of your joint assets and property remain your joint property, but this opportunity allows you both a chance to clear your heads and figure out what to do next. We usually do not prepare a separation agreement when there’s a trial separation. One word of caution: if you’ve established a status quo with your children, it may be tough to reverse it after some time has passed. If you only have the children in your care every other weekend and decide to split permanently, you may have to accept just seeing them every other weekend. Changing a status quo can be challenging unless you can demonstrate it is not serving the children’s best interests.
- Permanent Separation. When you live away from your spouse with no intention of reuniting (but you are not yet divorced) you are in a permanent separation. If you do not want to reconcile with your spouse, you must separate any shared assets and joint accounts. Once you are legally divorced, any additional debt incurred by your spouse is no longer your responsibility. After your divorce is completed, you are no longer entitled to any of your spouse’s earnings or property purchases. Clients often sign a separation agreement, but do not complete it with a divorce for several years.
Divorce. Being legally separated is not the same as being divorced. If you desire finality, you will get a divorce soon after the separation agreement is completed. Until a court grants the divorce, you are still considered married. Many will stay separated without divorcing until someone insists on getting a divorce.
If you have chosen to divorce your spouse, you should reach an agreement as quickly as possible. The earlier you create the agreement, the faster and smoother the divorce procedure will be. Timing and a steady pace are vital. When a procedure is dragged out, problems often occur. On the other hand, if emotions are high, it is often advisable to postpone the procedure until calmer heads prevail.
You should immediately seek legal counsel and engage with a divorce lawyer when you decide to pursue a divorce. They can assess your circumstances; provide you with options and guidance on future actions; and draft a legally binding and enforceable agreement for you.
We correct a lot of homemade agreements. They are often not done correctly and are not enforceable. It is much more expensive to repair a badly designed agreement than it is to do it well from the start. Allow us to assist you in getting it done correctly to safeguard you from future litigation and controversy.
When selecting the ideal divorce lawyer for your case, be sure they have your best interests in mind. Also, be certain they are eager to assist you in every manner possible, to keep you out of court. When a matter gets to court, it often takes longer and is more expensive in the long run.
Every marriage and relationship is unique. As a result, each separation agreement is unique. Your separation agreement should take the following factors into account, depending on your personal relationship:
- Children: How will financial help work if you have children? What is the procedure for shared custody (also known as “joint parenting time”)? Where will both parents reside, and how will this affect their connection with their child? How much time do you spend with your children? How will vacations be divided? What method will be used to make decisions?
- Finances: What happens if you have shared assets or bank accounts? If there is any joint debt, how will it be resolved? Will one individual pay spousal support to the other?
- Property: Will the property be sold and the money split if you own a home together? Will one individual maintain the property while the other leaves? How are shared assets going to be divided?
Again, you may have more or less topics to consider when drafting a separation agreement, depending on your circumstances. Your financial status and parenting plan must be properly written out for it to stand up in court.
The Bottom Line
Separation agreements will have ramifications for the rest of your life. Not just your life, but also the lives of your children. This is why you should consult with a divorce lawyer who can assist you through your divorce and form a long-term, legally enforceable arrangement.
If you are ready to proceed with your separation, contact McGuinty Law Offices and speak with one of our professional separation lawyers. We are dedicated to resolving family problems with compassion. From the first consultation through the finalization of your agreement, we are with you every step of the way. We are also devoted to simplifying the process of your divorce while keeping you out of court as much as possible using a collaborative approach. Call us now to get started or if you have any questions.
McGuinty Law can be reached in Ottawa at (613) 526-3858. Call us today or visit us online.