When a couple decides to end their marriage, one of the first steps they need to take is to draft a separation agreement. In Ontario, this is a legally binding document that outlines how the couple will divide their assets, deal with custody and access to children, and make financial arrangements going forward.
Here are some important things to consider when drafting a separation agreement in Ontario:
1. Get Legal Advice – It`s important that both parties seek legal advice before entering into a separation agreement. A family lawyer can help ensure that the agreement is fair, reasonable and in compliance with Ontario law.
2. Property Division – The separation agreement should outline how the couple intends to divide their property, including real estate, bank accounts, investments, and personal belongings. It may also address the division of debt.
3. Spousal Support – If one spouse is entitled to spousal support, the agreement should set out the amount and duration of the support payments.
4. Child Support – The agreement should address how child support will be calculated and paid. This may include details about expenses such as daycare, extracurricular activities, and medical costs.
5. Custody and Access – If the couple has children together, the separation agreement should outline their custody and access arrangements. This includes where the children will live and when each parent will have access to them.
6. Review and Update – It`s important to review and update the separation agreement as circumstances change. For example, if one spouse experiences a significant change in income, the support payments may need to be adjusted.
In conclusion, drafting a separation agreement is an essential step in navigating the process of divorce in Ontario. It`s important to seek legal advice, consider property division and support payments, address child custody and access arrangements, and keep the agreement up to date as circumstances change. With a well-drafted agreement in place, both parties can move forward with their lives with peace of mind.