One of the most common misconceptions about separation agreements is that you do not need a lawyer. On the contrary, a player plays an integral role before, during, and even after signing this agreement.
Before signing a separation agreement, a family lawyer can help you understand complex legal definitions and applicable law. For example, in Ontario:
- you and your spouse must have separated for at least a year to file for divorce;
- a spouse may be eligible for temporary support even after legal separation; and
- courts consider these agreements to be legally enforceable.
These are just some of the many things a divorce lawyer can help you understand before signing a separation agreement. When drafting the agreement, you also need to consider important factors such as:
- Who should live with the children (if any)
- Who should make decisions for the children, and how
- How to meet the children’s financial needs
- Where will the children go to school?
- Who is responsible for the children’s healthcare?
- Whether a spouse is entitled to financial help and to what extent
- Division of property
- Sharing debt responsibilities
Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer for a Separation Agreement?
The simplest answer to this question is yes; you need a divorce lawyer for a separation agreement. Here is why.
Explaining Complex Legal Concepts
As mentioned before, a separation lawyer can help you understand complex terms used when drafting a separation agreement.
In addition, this lawyer can help you understand your rights whether you are the spouse seeking the divorce or being divorced. For instance, if you and your spouse shared a business, the settlement agreement will explain who owns what and things either party can or cannot do regarding the business. The same applies if you had debt together – this agreement covers every important detail, protecting your rights and interests in the process.
Building a Client-Lawyer Relationship
One major benefit of having a family lawyer help with your separation agreement is that it allows them to become familiar with the circumstances surrounding your case. As mentioned before, you and your spouse must stay separated for a year before filing for divorce. Although not every separation ends in divorce, most do. If you or your spouse decides to file for divorce, the lawyer who helped draft the settlement agreement can also represent you during the divorce process.
This gives you peace of mind knowing that someone who cares about you is ready to take a step further and fight for what you are entitled to. In addition, it is much better to work with a lawyer who is familiar with your case than hiring one and starting the whole process all over again.
Avoiding Costly, Regrettable Mistakes
A separation agreement is not the kind of legal document that you can easily dismiss in court, even with a good lawyer. This agreement is legally binding. Therefore, unless there is a genuine case of fraud or coercion, the probability of overturning the terms of a separation agreement is very low. Even if fraud and coercion are to blame, you must prove these two elements to the court, which can be a difficult thing to do.
This further explains why it is vital to make the right decisions from the onset. With an experienced family law lawyer by your side, you can count on their knowledge of this area of law to provide critical advice before signing the agreement.
How to Choose the Best Toronto Divorce Lawyer for Separation Agreements
You will find any family law firms in Toronto, but some may not provide the legal representation you need and deserve. A good divorce lawyer should listen to your concerns and offer professional legal advice.
Additionally, you need a lawyer who understands family law and can break it down into easy-to-understand bits. Since you are one of the key parties in the divorce, you must understand everything from the beginning to the end.
For instance, a good divorce lawyer in Toronto should explain your rights and what you are entitled to during the separation. Lastly, you need a lawyer who will make time to listen to you, understand your fears and concerns, and create a legal strategy that addresses such issues.
How the Toronto, ON Lawyers at Bykov Law Can Help
Bykov Law is the family law firm to contact if you need help with separation agreements in the Toronto area. Separation agreements can have a serious and ongoing impact on your rights and obligations. Therefore, it is always a good idea to have a lawyer prepare your separation agreement. The cost of preparation depends on how complicated your situation is. To save time and money, take as much information with you as you can when you come to a lawyer. Our experienced lawyers understand the importance of this agreement and what is at stake during separation.
Every divorce is unique. For this reason, we provide a customized approach to every case. We do this to protect your rights throughout the separation and prepare you for different scenarios that could arise from signing the agreement. Whether you need help drafting a separation agreement or reviewing an existing one, call us today at 416.519.3259 to schedule a consultation.