The issues affecting families are mounting day by day. These issues are boiling down to either separation or divorce. The worst thing is that most of the couples are not aware of their legal rights and obligations when it comes to such issues. They are not even aware of the legal practices that deal with family relationships in their state or the country they live in. If you have reached a situation where you feel divorce is the next best thing, you need to seek legal help. Family laws affecting divorce differ across the world, and only an experienced family lawyer can give you the right advice to ensure your rights are protected. A good lawyer may provide you the correct information regarding your situation and how the law might affect you.
Separation Agreement in Ontario
Most of the time, when a couple decides to end their marriage, they think of separation or divorce. If you separate, this means you will not live together as husband and wife, and thus you will have to make decisions concerning what belongs to each of you. Again, you may decide to separate before you can apply for divorce in Ontario later. To apply for the divorce, you would have to mention the date you separated as the court can’t grant you divorce until you have lived apart for one year or more. The fact is, you have to a clear cut on issues relating to who will take care of the children, how your liabilities or assets will be divided among you, among others. Thus, you can decide to solve your issues by:
- Write a separation agreement on your own in the presence of a witness to make it legal
- Using a family lawyer to help you draft a separation agreement
- Use an arbitrator or mediator to decide on your issues
- Go to court. Here, there is always the danger of the court overturning the separation agreement if one spouse decides to set it aside. Again, the litigation may be expensive. However, a family lawyer may help by ensuring that your agreement is not at risk of being overturned. If you were not legally married, it would be wise to avoid going to court.
In Ontario, you don’t need to have a family lawyer draft your separation agreement to ensure your agreement is valid. This will help the agreement stand up to the court scrutiny if it’s disputed against. Thus, it is better to have a lawyer by your side. In Canada, no law compels a couple to have a separation agreement. It’s only recommended if you have issues concerning child custody, support, and division of property or spousal support.
A Separation Agreement Benefits
If you are experiencing marital problems, having a legal separation agreement is one of the major financial steps you can take. If your spouse has agreed on the separation, you can smoothly sail through with the help of a family lawyer. Though most states don’t recognize a separation agreement, speaking with your family lawyer will help you understand the laws governing this agreement in your country or state. Here are some of the benefits of why you may need one:
Retaining of marital benefits – With a legal separation, you will still keep some benefits that you enjoyed before the separation. For instance, if you enjoyed insurance benefits from your spouse, the agreement may contain your rights to retain the coverage.
Protecting your Financial Interest – You will have investments that you had acquired together. The separation agreement may state that the assets be divided equally. In case of any joint bank accounts, they may also be closed, and each spouse forced to open other accounts with their own names.
Debt Division – The separation agreement defines how the debt is divided. This may prevent you from being saddled by your spouse with the debt. Again, if you live in an equitable distribution state, the separation agreement will protect you from any liability that was incurred by your spouse during the period of separation.
To decide whether a couple is living separately, the court looks at factors such as whether you share a bedroom and have sexual relations, share chores like preparing and eating together and whether you communicate.
Contact a Family Lawyer for the necessary Advice
You should keep in mind that things change over time, so when thinking about a separation agreement, it better to focus on the best interest of your children. This is the standard used by the family laws in Canada. It is also known as the friendly parent rule. Your legal separation doesn’t have to be expensive. This is as long as you have a good family lawyer to give you tips on the separation agreement in Ontario. In case you may want to divorce later, your separation agreement may ease some of the most pressing issues that are associated with marriage dissolution.