A separation agreement could be useful for estranged couples who want to maintain their marital status despite ending their relationship.
A separation agreement differs from a divorce in that it does not formally end the relationship but does cover many of the same issues as a divorce decree. Let our Toronto separation agreements lawyers at the Riley Firm help you through the process of separating from your spouse and advise you through the process of creating a martial contract.
Separation agreements can serve different purposes. For many couples, these agreements are useful to set the terms of a separation while divorce proceedings are pending. Some divorces can drag out for months or even years, and a separation agreement could address issues related to child custody or property division until the divorce is finalized.
In fact, it is possible to use the terms of a separation agreement in a final divorce decree. Otherwise, you may sign a separation agreement in lieu of getting divorced, as it would cover all of the same issues as a divorce without the expensive and potentially contentious litigation.
Separation occurs when one spouse has the intention to live separate and apart from the other. It is possible, however, to live “separate and apart” under the same roof. While living separately does not require the couple to live in separate homes, it does prevent them from sharing a bedroom, eating meals together, or having a sexual relationship.
Several factors will be considered when determining whether spouses are in fact living separate and apart. A Toronto separation agreements lawyer could help you decipher what those factors might be in your case and counsel you on whether this type of legal contract is beneficial for you.
Separation agreements can resolve many of the same issues that are raised during the divorce process. These considerations can vary from custody and access to minor children to financial matters that affect the whole family. A separation agreements lawyer serving the Toronto area could work towards a fair outcome by including terms on all of the following issues:
The division of assets is often a contentious part of divorce, and the same can be true for separation agreements as well. Dividing marital property can also involve the division of businesses owned by either spouse. In addition to assets, a married couple must also divide marital debt.
It can be challenging to address and distribute these items in a courtroom setting, where tensions may be high and each claim requires a showing of proof. Drafting a separation agreement allows you to categorize and divide your marital estate without court involvement or a judge’s interference. As long as your separation contract is legally enforceable and fair to both parties, a Toronto judge must grant it.
A separation agreement could cover whether custody will be sole or joint and even set out the parenting schedule. Custody and parenting time schedules decided in a separation contract are subject to court approval. Specifically, a judge must confirm whether an agreement made by separating parents is actually in their children’s best interests.
Issues regarding child support go beyond the monthly payments paid from one parent to another. A separation agreement could also resolve issues regarding payment schedules and any special expenses. Similar to terms on custody, however, a judge must approve any separation terms which impact or involve a minor child, including those regarding a parent’s support obligations.
For many couples, divorce is not the answer despite their romantic relationship coming to an end. For others, separation is simply a means to an end before they are eligible for a divorce. In either case, a qualified lawyer could assist with the separation process.
Creating a legally enforceable separation agreement on your own is difficult. Contact a Toronto separation agreements lawyer at our office right away to secure the help you need.
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