In Canada, spouses must be separated for a full year before they can get a divorce; except in cases of infidelity or cruelty. Unlike a divorce, a separation agreement is not granted by the courts; it is not something that you can apply for. Instead, separation is the decision you and your spouse make to live apart while you remain married.
If you have decided that a separation is the best option for you and spouse, you should create a separation agreement. A separation agreement is a form of contract that outlines the roles and responsibilities of each spouse during their period of separation. A separation agreement can cover issues such as child custody and child support, spousal support, visitation provisions and schedules and division of assets and debts.
Separation agreements are not required for a separation to be legal. You and your spouse are legally separated as soon as you start living apart. Although an agreement is not mandatory, it is wise to have one.
Why do you need a separation agreement?
You may think you do not need a separation agreement because you and your spouse agree on all the important issues. Even so, you should not rely on a verbal agreement.
It’s not uncommon for spouses to accept unsatisfactory terms to achieve a quick resolution to their marriage. Your spouse may say one thing now and then fail to honour that agreement later. If that happens, you may not be able to take legal action as it will be your word against theirs. However, if you and your spouse had a signed separation agreement, the courts will recognize it as legally binding.
Having a separation agreement can limit disputes and keep you and your spouse out of court, even in times of disagreement. This can be especially beneficial for couples with children.
Do you need a separation agreement lawyer?
You are not required to use a separation agreement lawyer to create an agreement. However, there are reasons you may want to hire one.
Even though an agreement is legally binding if both spouses sign, legal loopholes can cause the contact to be void. To prevent this from happening, you must see to it that your agreement is drafted following the rules of family law. A separation agreement lawyer understands the legislation that governs such documents and will guarantee there are no loopholes in your contract. A separation lawyer will also ensure you know exactly what you are agreeing to and help you safeguard your rights.
Furthermore, a lawyer-prepared settlement agreement is required for certain business transactions. For example, an agreement prepared by a lawyer is required by mortgage lenders who need to gauge whether you can support a new mortgage on your own.
Are you searching for a Surrey separation agreement lawyer?
If you are searching for a Surrey separation agreement lawyer, contact us at Christ & Co. Law Corporation. At Christ & Co. Law Corporation, our family lawyers are here to help you cope with one of the most challenging life experiences. We live to reduce your stress and to make the complex process seem simple.
So, give us a call today to schedule a free legal consultation. Let us show you how we can help you resolve the crucial issues in your separation.