SEPARATION AGREEMENT TEMPLATE

3 STEPS TO GETTING YOUR SEPARATION AGREEMENT

1

Pay for and download your separation agreement template.

2

Fill in the blanks to customize your template to your specific needs.

3

Obtain independent legal advice from a family lawyer, included at no additional cost.

Did you know lack of independent legal advice is one of the most common reasons why Separation Agreements get set aside?

Our template includes FREE independent legal advice from an experienced Family Law Lawyer.

Difference between a lawyer drafted Separation Agreement and the AP Separation Agreement Template:

The only difference is we do all the heavy lifting for you versus you doing it yourself. Our template includes the opportunity to obtain independent legal advice from our lawyers at no additional charge.

Who should use the AP Separation Agreement Templates?

The AP Separation Agreement Template is perfect for your situation if you and your ex-spouse or common-law partner:

  • agree on parenting terms if applicable;
  • have only simple property issues;
  • agree on what to do with the matrimonial home;
  • do not have significant assets;
  • agree on support issues;
  • are both wiling to obtain independent legal advice, so you are fully informed of your rights and obligations.

In all other cases, we strongly advise that you retain one of our excellent lawyers to assist you.

Various options for getting your Separation Agreement drafted:

  • Lawyer drafted comprehensive agreement: $2,300.00 | Best for more complicated cases.
  • Separation Agreement Template: $789.87 including HST | Ideal for simple uncomplicated cases.

Get your AP Separation Agreement

1) Pay for and download your separation agreement template.
2) Fill in the blanks to customize your separation agreement.
3) Independent legal advice is included at no extra cost.

Benefits of using the AP Separation Agreement Template

  • Experience:
    Our template was created by lawyers with extensive experience in all the elements of a legally valid separation agreement in Ontario.
  • Independent Legal Advice:
    We are the only online separation agreement template that includes free independent legal from an experienced Ontario Family Law Lawyer.
  • Cost Effective:
    Some lawyers charge as much as $5,000 to draft a simple separation agreement. With our separation agreement template, you have a comprehensive, legally binding separation agreement without all the frills.
  • Easy to use:
    Completing the template is as simple as filling in the blanks and deleting paragraphs that do not apply.
  • How to Guide:
    We have included a guide to help you in completing your separation agreement. This makes the process of drafting your agreement even simpler.
  • Comprehensive:
    The template covers pretty much every issue you need to resolve as the result of a breakdown in a relationship.
  • Bonus:
    We provide you the tools you need to divide your net family property as required under Ontario Family Laws.

What is a Separation Agreement?

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:

  1. ownership in or division of property;
  2. support obligations;
  3. the right to direct the education and moral training of their children;
  4. the right to decision-making responsibility or parenting time with
    respect to their children; and
  5. 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.

Get your AP Separation Agreement

1) Pay for and download your separation agreement template.
2) Fill in the blanks to customize your separation agreement.
3) Independent legal advice is included at no extra cost.

Guide to using our separation agreement kit

  1. Read each paragraph carefully and delete any paragraph or sentence that does not apply to your situation. This is especially important. Also pay attention to the use of singular or plural terms and edit them as appropriate.
  2. This Agreement is best suited for straightforward financial situations. If yours is complicated, involving businesses, trusts, etc. You will be better served having one of our lawyers draft your Agreement.
  3. Financial disclosure and independent legal advice is very important. We strongly advice it. One party to this kit would get FREE independent legal advice from AP Lawyers.
  4. Financial Disclosure: It is strongly advised that each party complete a Financial Statement using the Ontario Courts Form 13.1: Financial Statement (Property and Support Claims) which can be accessed by clicking here.
  5. Equalization Payment: In order to know who pays the other and how much, calculate your net family property by using the Ontario Court Form 13B: Net Family Property Statement which can be accessed by clicking here.
  6. Consult the Child Support Guidelines or use the following link https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/fl-df/child-enfant/2017/look-rech.asp in determining the correct amount of child support payable.
  7. It is important to seek the advice of your accountant and financial advisor regarding the terms of your agreement especially the property sections.

How independent legal advice of your separation agreement works

  • Your separation Agreement kit includes a one-time free independent-legal advice session with an experience family law lawyer at AP Lawyers.
  • Email us your final draft no later than 1 day before your meeting so the lawyer can read it and prepare a list of recommendations for you.
  • You meet with your lawyer for 30 minutes to go over the recommendations.
  • You will be provided with a certificate of independent legal advice as well as the list of recommendations, if applicable.
  • You will be expected to make any changes advised.
  • You will arrange to have your Agreement signed and dated by yourself and a witness.

Disclaimer

AP Lawyers assumes no responsibility for the drafting of your Agreement. YOU assume full responsibility for the drafting of your agreement. You are expected to customize the agreement to suit your particular circumstances. AP Lawyers shall provide you with a certificate of independent legal advice. You are solely responsible for implementing their advice. AP Lawyers will not confirm whether or not any proposed changes have been made. We will not witness the signing of your Agreement.

Appendix a – holiday schedule

If your have children, when drafting your Agreement, you may want to include a provision for how holidays will be shared. You may choose to do anyone or a combination of the following:

  • Have the holidays go according to the regular access schedule;
  • Alternate holidays in odd numbered and even numbered years. For example, Party X may have New Years Day in odd numbered years and Party Y will have New Years Day in even numbered years.
  • Split the holidays. For example, Party X always has Christmas and Party Y always has New Year or Party X always has Thanksgiving Sunday and Party Y always has Thanksgiving Monday.

Creativity and the best interest of the children is always required.

Below is a list of holidays in Ontario

  • New Year’s Day
  • Family Day
  • Good Friday
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • Simcoe Day
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

List of school breaks in Ontario

  • March Break
  • Easter long weekend
  • Summer Vacation
  • Christmas Break

SEPARATION AGREEMENT FAQ

  • “spouse” means either of two persons who,
    (a) are married to each other, or
    (b) have together entered into a marriage that is voidable or void, in good faith on the part of a person relying on this clause to assert any right.
    For the purposes of spousal support, “spouse” includes either of two persons who are not married to each other and have cohabited,
    (a) continuously for a period of not less than three years, or
    (b) in a relationship of some permanence, if they are the parents of a child.

    For purposes of the Family Law, your common-law partner is a person with whom you have lived in a relationship of some permanence, if you are the parents of a child or someone you have lived with continuously for at least 3 years.

    “cohabit” means to live together in a conjugal relationship, whether within or outside a marriage.

    In short, yes the court can make changes to your parenting plan/agreement. However, a court would only intervene if the change is obviously in the child’s best interest.

    Child support is the amount paid by one party to another for the expenses associated with caring for a child. It is meant to cover things like: groceries, basic school supplies, transportation, clothing and housing expenses for the children.

    The amount of child support a person has to pay is determined by the child support guidelines.

    Yes you can, if:
    1. Paying the amount prescribed by the guidelines would cause you undue hardship; and/or
    2. If other appropriate arrangements are made for the financial well-being of the child.

    This is the amount paid by a higher earning spouse to the lower earning spouse to financially support him or her, following a separation.

    Child and spousal support differ in a number of ways, including:
    - Child support is for the support of a child, while spousal support is for a spouse.
    - Child support amount payable is fixed under the Child Support Guidelines while spousal support payable is usually in a range: low, mid, and high.
    - The right to child support is automatic whereas a spouse must show entitlement to spousal support.
    - Whether support is paid on the low, mid or high range depends on various factors such the basis of entitlement to spousal support, the depth of the recipient’s need, parenting arrangements, contractual obligations, etc.
    - Child support payments take priority over spousal support payments.
    - Child support obligations exist for as long as the child remains a dependent whereas spousal support duration is dependent on factors such as the length of the relationship, whether the parties have children together and their ages and the age of the recipient at the time of separation.
    - Spousal support is paid by the higher earning spouse only. On the other hand, child support may be paid by the lower income earning spouse to the higher earner, if the children are reside primarily with the higher income earning spouse.

    This would totally depend on if the recipient is entitled to spousal support. In most cases, a large disparity in income would mean some entitlement to spousal support even if only based on need.

    This depends on a number including: you and the recipient’s incomes, the length of your relationship, your age, if you have children, the parenting arrangement for the children, etc

    Spousal support is tax deductible to the payor and taxable to the recipient. Child support have no special tax treatment.

    Duration of spousal support depends on various factors including the length of the relationship, the age of any dependent children at the date of separation, the recipient’s age at the date of separation, any arrangements made by the parties to shorten or increase the length of spousal support, in exchange for higher or lower periodic support payments.

    No, they are not mandatory, but they are practically treated as such in that save for exceptional cases, the courts expect spousal support to fall within the spousal support advisory guidelines ranges.

    This is an amount paid to financially support a child for expenses over and above the Table/Guidelines amount of child support.

    The answer to this question depends on whether you are a married vs. a common-law couple.
    Married Persons:
    Common-law partners:

    All assetsowned on the date of separation need to be equalized. To be more accurate, you do not simply divide assets, you divide your Net Family Property. Your net family property includes all assets and liabilities on the date of separation, deductions for date of marriage debts and liabilities, as well as excluded properties such as gifts, inheritances, etc. .

    Your pension is an asset to be divided. The best way to tell the correct amount to use is by getting the pension valued by the pension administrator. Talk to your HR department for guidance on how to do this. The pension administrators are required to value the pension by law, once you request it and complete the necessary forms. Depending on your pension administrator, a fee may be applicable.

    As a general rule, inheritances are excluded from a division/ equalization of net family property. If it’s deposited into a joint account, it may be presumed that you intended to share it with the other party. You should seek legal advice on how to best approach this issue.

    The terms of your separation agreement can be enforced just like any other contract, through the courts, or by arbitration.

    It’s not mandatory but it is strongly advised. Without having a lawyer review your separation agreement, you may be entering into a deal that is not the best for you. Even worse, you could be signing off on terms that do not accurately reflect what you agreed to.
    Also, without both parties having independent legal advice, the agreement can be invalidated in the future if one person claims they did not have a full understanding of what they were signing.

    Anyone over the age of 18 can be the witness except your spouse, partner, or child. So ,your friend, neighbour or colleague can act as witness.

Angela Princewill: Founding partner of AP Lawyers

Angela Princewill is the founding partner of AP Lawyers, a law firm serving Durham Region and the Greater Toronto Area. Angela’s practice is focused on Family Law matters. She assists clients with family law matters such as divorce, child support, spousal support, custody, access, domestic contracts and property division.

Angela Princewill is compassionate but very aggressive in representing her clients’ interests. She gives honest advice to her clients and utilizes every legal tool including alternative dispute resolution, to achieve her clients’ goals. Legal issues can be very stressful for clients so we make navigating the legal maze as easy as possible.

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