A Separation Agreement is an Agreement entered into by two persons who cohabited and are now living separate and apart, in which they agree on their respective rights and obligations, including:
- ownership in or division of property;
- support obligations;
- the right to direct the education and moral training of their children;
- the right to decision-making responsibility or parenting time with
respect to their children; and
- any other matter in the settlement of their affairs.
What does living separate and apart mean?
Physical separation is not a prerequisite. You can live separate and apart in the same home. The factors that determine if you are separate and apart though living under the same roof include:
- occupying separate bedrooms
- absence of sexual relations
- little, if any, communication between spouses
- parties performing no domestic services for the other or either party
refusing to assist in household maintenance for the other
- eating meals separately
- no social activities together
- separating your finances
If any one or more of these factors apply to your situation, you are separated, even if you continue to live in the same house with your spouse or common law partner.
Why do I need a Separation Agreement?
A separation agreement is not mandatory. You can choose to get a divorce without a separation agreement however without a separation agreement, a lot of confusion can ensure regarding:
- how your property was shared;
- what the details are regarding parenting, not just the parenting schedule;
- the duration of any support obligations;
- what expenses for the children are covered and what is not, etc.
A divorce can only be granted by the courts, while a separation agreement need only involve you and your spouse or common-law partner agreeing to the terms. You can involve a mediator if you need help reaching an agreement.
What happens to my Separation Agreement when we divorce?
Nothing. All of your rights and obligations under the Agreement continues.