If the separating spouses agree on various legal issues surrounding separation, such as custody, access, support and the division of assets, they need to hire a lawyer to draft a separation agreement. Here is a quick overview of the Separation Agreement steps in Ontario:
- First the lawyer will identify the issues based on the client’s instructions. These issues will include custody, decision-making for the children, visitation schedule, child and spousal support, property division, equalization and more.
- Next the lawyer will assist the client to gather his/her financial information, including disclosure of income, assets and liabilities. The lawyers will exchange financial information on behalf of the spouses.
- Negotiations between the lawyers will take place.
- An agreement will be drafted.
- The lawyer will explain the agreement to the client, provide independent legal advice and make amendments if necessary.
- Both spouses sign the agreement with their lawyers and it is considered a legal and binding document.