If you and your spouse have decided to separate, then it’s time to start thinking about your settlement arrangements as well as preparing a legal Separation Agreement. You do not need to go to court to settle arrangements between you and your spouse – nor do you need to go to court to prepare a Separation Agreement.
A Separation Agreement does not legally end your marriage. In Ontario, the only way to legally end your marriage is to apply for a divorce decree. However, a divorce decree does not in any way protect your interests or assets, ensure support, or guarantee any terms. So BEFORE you apply for your divorce decree you first prepare a Separation Agreement.
Negotiating your financial and parenting arrangements and legally signing an agreement are the crucial first steps in your divorce process. In essence, this agreement will be the ongoing contract between you and your spouse with regards to all issues moving forward. It is very important that this agreement is prepared properly, in accordance with the laws of Ontario, and with some financial savvy as the money decisions you make now will affect you and your children for years to come.