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Financially Smart Separation Agreements

The Separation Agreement in Ontario

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. 

But you do need an agreement that is in line with the laws of Ontario.  In other words its not enough to just have a legal looking piece of paper, you want an agreement that is binding on your spouse and enforceable by a court if necessary.

Does A Separation Agreement Legally End Your Marriage?

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. 

Separation Agreement Checklist:

10 Important items that need to be a part of your Separation Agreement

  1. Full Financial Disclosure
  2. Settlement of all Parenting Arrangements
  3. Child Support Obligations according to Provincial Child Support Guidelines
  4. Spousal Support Obligations
  5. Formal Valuation of Pensions
  6. Division of Assets
  7. Notional Tax Obligations
  8. Division of Debts
  9. Separation of the Matrimonial Home
  10. Independent Legal Advice