Negotiated Separation Agreement
Legal agreements are contracts between two people who want to protect their rights, establish certain obligations, and provide certainty and security for their future. Legal Agreements can be applied to one or several areas of Family Law.
At Marie G. Michaels & Associates, we are experts in negotiating clear, solid and fair agreements, in all aspects of family law.
If you and your spouse have no disagreements with respect to children, support, marital property, or any other issue arising from the breakdown of your marriage, and you have been separated for at least one year, you may be eligible for an uncontested divorce.
The following list offers a basic description of the varying forms of legal agreements:
Following the decision to end the relationship, creating a separation agreement is typically the next step to try and resolve matters around child custody, access, support and division of property and assets, investments and also pensions.
This type of agreement will set out the residential schedules that your children will follow while living between your home and your spouse’s home. It may also provide protocols that both parents agree to follow while the children are in their care. Often, however, parenting agreements simply form part of a more comprehensive separation agreement.
Sometimes, a couple realize that they aren’t as compatible as they thought they would be, and regret not having entered into a Cohabitation or Prenuptial agreement. The law provides a mechanism allowing them to effectively step back and enter into the cohabitation or prenuptial agreement they ought to have signed before beginning their relationship. The only difference is that this document is referred to as a marriage contract. Similarly, in the event of an eventual marriage breakdown, the marriage contract becomes a separation agreement.
The primary reason for having a cohabitation or prenuptial agreement is to agree, in advance, on the terms of separation if the relationship does not last. It is not unusual that one, or both of the cohabitants, has previously experienced a divorce and a dispute involving custody, access, support and property division, losses, etc., and may just want to avoid the risk of having another dispute. The risk of a dispute is greatly reduced by having this kind of agreement. We highly recommend meeting with our lawyers at the beginning of a relationship and developing an agreement on the terms of a possible separation, rather than during the emotional end of one.
In addition, we are effective at negotiating issues that are often covered by these types of agreements such as:
- Financial disclosure that must be obtained from and disclosed to the other person, including disclosure requirements for self-employed clients or clients with family-owned businesses
- Spousal support
- Equalization of Net Family Property or Joint Family Ventures
- RRSP or LIRA rollovers
- Transfer or sale of the matrimonial home, cottage or time share
- Income imputation for support purposes
- Property or debt brought into marriage
- Excluded property
- Dealing with difficult spouses, their lawyers, or unrepresented spouses
- Providing Independent Legal Advice (ILA) to spouses who come with Agreements drafted by others, such as their partners’ lawyers
- Child support
- Section 7, special and extraordinary expenses
- Extracurricular expenses
We will explain to clients, at each step, the value to them of any concession they are being asked (by the other spouse) to make, or that they are asking the other spouse to make, and discuss some of the strategies of negotiation.