It is vital to keep in mind that even though a separation agreement can be a very potent document it cannot end a marriage; a divorce is the only thing that can end a marriage. However they can work together, while a divorce will end the marriage the agreement can take care of the particulars.
Or, it can be used on its own so that a divorce can come later, or not at all. Some separated couples get back together or remain apart but never actually terminate their marriage with a divorce.
Filing the agreement is sometimes done with a divorce but usually done when one party needs help enforcing it. It does not need to be filed with the court to be legal as long as it is correctly signed.
Some provinces cannot enforce certain terms of the agreement unless both spouses have had independent legal advice (from a lawyer) or sign a waiver of independent legal advice witnessed by a lawyer before signing the agreement. It is always smart to have a lawyer take a look at the agreement before signing it.
Make sure your spouse gets independent legal advice too. This can prevent him or her from later asking a court to overturn it on the grounds that he or she did not understand what he or she was signing.
The care and financial support of children, spousal support, and division of property and debt. These are the main issues that need to be taken care of in a separation agreement. If you do not have one or any of these issues to deal with then the agreement will be easier to make.
The crucial aspects of a separation agreement that you need to know are: 1. to understand what an agreement can and cannot do; 2. to make sure that it is signed correctly after receiving independent legal advice; and 3. to make sure it deals with the important issues of children, income and property.
About the Author
This writer suggests that you visit DivorceOnline.ca for additional hints on a separation agreement.