When such a life-changing event happens, it is often difficult for parties to know where to start. The first step that we at Holam Law PC always recommend to clients is to arrange an initial consultation with an experienced family law lawyer, to identify the issues in your separation, and the processes by which those issues can be resolved, and the benefits and disadvantages of each process in relation to a client’s specific needs and goals.
What is a Separation Agreement?
Negotiating and entering into a separation agreement can be one of the most cost-effective methods to resolve all issues arising from a separation. It is also a method of resolution that is entirely driven and dictated by the separating couple, instead of having orders being imposed upon them by the Court. In this regard, where the parties are capable of positive communication and cooperation, negotiating a separation agreement is the recommended process.
What Makes a Separation Agreement Legally Binding?
Creating a legally binding separation agreement or domestic contract recognized by Ontario courts will require that both parties (spouses) are honest and open about their financial circumstances. Detailed disclosure of all sources of income, all assets, as well as debts and liabilities, are required to be made under Ontario family law and legislation. The process by which full financial disclosure is made can be complicated. However, our team at Holam Law PC is well-equipped with the knowledge and technical skill to assist with this process. Our team will work to ensure that all financial, real and personal property & assets, businesses, trusts, and debts and liabilities are clearly declared from the outset. Being transparent is essential to ensure that the process is viable.
In addition to the provision of full financial disclosure, another hallmark of a legally binding and enforceable separation agreement is independent legal advice. This will ensure that you understand your individual rights and obligations under the agreement, so that you can enter it voluntarily and fully informed. It is therefore important for you and your spouse to choose your own individual lawyer who will advocate for you alone to best achieve the intended results. This will also help to create a more balanced separation agreement.
If there are intricate business holdings or various trust matters to consider, we have the experience required to navigate this often-confusing maze. We can simplify the most complicated business and finance matters for clients so that everyone is on the same page.
Generally, when all the hallmarks of a binding and enforceable separation agreement have been met, the Ontario courts have upheld these agreements. A separation agreement based on incomplete or misrepresented disclosure will likely result in a spouse challenging in court the terms of the agreement at some future date. Escalation of the dispute in litigation substantially increases legal costs and is something that many may otherwise want to avoid. Most importantly, separation agreement lacking the hallmarks noted above are unlikely to be upheld in an Ontario court once challenged. If a separation agreement or any part of it is set aside by the Court, the impugned provisions must be decided anew.
How We Help Clients Like You
Contact Holam Law PC at 365-608-6161 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation today.