Do I Need A Lawyer For A Separation Agreement In Alberta?

If you and your spouse are contemplating a separation in the province of Alberta,you may want to consider drawing up a Separation Agreement. Separation Agreements between parents are only legally binding if they are written down and signed by both parties. The Separation Agreement can include how the parents will handle custody, the division of financial assets and liabilities, how many days for visitations and who is responsible for what during their separation.

A written Separation Agreement that includes these factors can be a good idea even if the couple is going to get back together later on. This document can be referred to when things start to get heated as it will help both parties remember what has been agreed upon.

What Is A Separation Agreement?

A Separation Agreement is an important and legally binding contract between spouses. The terms within the Agreement can help save money, avoid further disputes, and protect your children’s interests. In Alberta, the courts have stated that separating couples should have a lawyer give independent legal advice for the agreement to be binding. A lawyer can ensure that you see nothing missing and that everything is clear and fair for both parties involved.

It is absolutely essential to have a lawyer look over your Agreement as you need to make sure your rights are protected. In fact, if a spouse can prove that a spouse did not provide independent legal advice when signing a Separation Agreement, the court may not enforce the agreement.

Benefits Of A Separation Agreement

Separation Agreements (also known as a “Marital Settlement Agreement”) are often arranged by couples prior to commencing a divorce proceeding. This is accomplished to help them better manage the emotional and financial aspects of their break-up, it can be especially beneficial due to the following:

  1. The separation process is less adversarial and emotional.
  2. Agreements are less likely to be contested.
  3. There is more flexibility in deciding on issues which should be resolved by a judge.
  4. Separation agreements provide certainty for both parties about their financial future at the time they separate, and
  5. There are tax advantages for each party to negotiate terms into their agreement that can save them taxes.

Whether you are separating from your spouse or de facto partner, a Separation Agreement is a crucial document. In the majority of cases when courts are asked to make a decision about the arrangements upon separation, it will be based on what is stated in that Agreement. If there is no Agreement then the court must decide how to divide the couple’s assets and debts based on the principles outlined in the Family Law Act.

Do I Need A Lawyer To Make A Separation Agreement In Alberta?

Separation is never easy but it can be simpler when you and your spouse have a written Separation Agreement. A written agreement is important for setting out rules and responsibilities leading up to and following separation. It also allows each party to be more aware of their legal rights and understand what may happen if they do not comply with the terms of the agreement.

If a Separation Agreement is signed, it should contain specific information and a clear outline of the terms and conditions. This means that it should be as short, clear and precise as possible. If you do not follow these guidelines, there is every chance you will find yourself in court again. The parties can always agree to delay or suspend specific clauses for a period of time until they can prove to be mutually beneficial. However, they are usually dependent upon the completion of certain conditions.

It is imperative that both parties get independent legal advice prior to signing a Separation Agreement. You cannot use the same lawyer and should not use the same law firm. If you fail to obtain advice from a lawyer, the Separation Agreement will be unenforceable.

How Do I Find A Lawyer For My Separation Agreement?

Choosing a family law attorney is an important decision. The attorney you choose will have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. The better qualified and experienced your lawyer is with family law, the better he or she will be able to help you. But how do you find the right family law lawyer? Does that person exist? Well, yes, but this is what you need to consider when trying to pick one out of the pack.

  1. Don’t be afraid to shop found,
  2. Look for someone you can communicate with,
  3. Ask yourself – do I need a mediator or do I want an active litigator?,
  4. Ask for advice but make your own decisions, and
  5. Pick a lawyer, not a law firm.

Choosing a family law lawyer is an important decision. The lawyer you choose will have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. The better qualified and experienced your lawyer is with family law, the better he or she will be able to help you define and outline the terms of your Agreement.