A Separation Agreement is a contract negotiated following the breakdown of a common-law or married relationship. It is an out of court settlement allowing you to control the outcome through negotiation, instead of a Judge deciding through the court process.
A successfully negotiated contract allows you to organize your matters concerning custody, access and child support, and to settle spousal support, property division, and equalization of your property.
Carefully negotiating and drafting the Separation Agreement is important because it can be challenged for reasons such as:
- Failure to disclose significant assets;
- A lack of understanding as to the nature and consequences; or,
- Under the law of contracts such as undue influence or mistake.
There are two other types of domestic contracts as defined in the Family Law Act, a cohabitation agreement, and a marriage contract. These types of contracts can be made before living together, while living together or before marriage. They allow couples to pre-determine a settlement in case of a separation.
Having an experienced lawyer negotiate, draft the agreement, and give you legal advice helps protect against any challenges to the contract in the future and ensures your rights are protected.