In situations that do not involve abuse and high conflict, the parties are usually in a far better position to decide what is better for them as a separating couple, and for their children than a judge. Separation agreements are domestic contracts under Ontario Family Law Act and, as such, are legally binding documents, which can be filed with a family court and enforced. Separation agreements and parenting agreements can address almost all matters arising of the breakdown of your relationship – from property division to spousal support, child support and custody. A separation agreement is your chance to be the creators of your own destiny, since you are allowed to spell out your respective rights and obligations regarding ownership in or division of property, spousal and child support obligations, and custody of and access to children.
While separation agreements provide a great deal of flexibility in arranging financial and familial affairs and are usually a much less costly alternative to protracted court applications, these contracts are always subject to best interests of a child test. Separation agreements have a significant and long-lasting impact on many areas of your life, long after signing. They may have significant tax consequences and can also influence your estate planning, immigration and financial future for years to come. It is essential to have a separation agreement prepared and reviewed by a knowledgeable family lawyer.
Call our Toronto separation agreement lawyer today to assist and guide you through this process. Independent Legal Advice
In Ontario, Independent Legal Advice primarily serves to demonstrate both parties’ understanding of the terms a domestic contract (separation agreement, marriage contract, cohabitation agreement, sperm donor agreement, surrogacy agreement etc.). The acknowledgment that both partners understood the nature and consequences of an agreement, as well as their respective rights and duties is essential to the validity of a contract and makes it less vulnerable to potential challenges.
Since one lawyer cannot represent both parties to an agreement, Independent Legal Advice requirement serves as a safeguard – a confirmation that both parties entered into a domestic arrangement fully informed, with their eyes wide open and without pressure from one another or a third person.