What Must Be Discussed on Separation Agreements in Alberta?

What Must Be Discussed on Separation Agreements in Alberta?

Home Separation What Must Be Discussed on Separation Agreements in Alberta?
When your separation agreement defines how your property will be divided with your husband, you need an Alberta lawyer to provide you with unbiased legal advice.  The Family Property Act, RSA 2000, Sections 37 and 38, and amendments to that, provide the formal requirements for a legally binding agreement. Each spouse shall obtain independent legal assistance concerning the separation agreement. In Summary:
  • In Alberta, you and your spouse must each retain a lawyer for a separation agreement that addresses property.
  • The same lawyer cannot represent you.
  • The Separation Agreement has not been filed with the court.
  • The Separation Agreement is enforceable per Alberta’s Family Property Act’s requirements.
  • The Separation Agreement is kept private without your or your spouse’s consent.

What Actions Must an Alberta Family Lawyer Take?

  • Your family law attorney must review and ensure you understand your legal rights and entitlements as they apply to your circumstance.
  • By signing the separation agreement, you declare your readiness to do so voluntarily and voluntarily.
  • You are not subjected to coercion or excessive pressure.
The Alberta Court of Appeal provides a more thorough explanation of what a lawyer is obligated to discuss with a client while providing legal advice. The Alberta Court of Appeal stipulates that a lawyer must: a) To compile sufficient reliable information to establish the client’s probable claim to or duty to pay for spousal support, child support, and the division of marital property should the issue be decided at trial, and to tell the client of this; (b) To tell the client of alternatives to any proposed settlement, to assess the reasonableness of any settlement, and analyze the benefits and drawbacks of that settlement concerning the alternatives so that any settlement decision is made with knowledge; and (c) To inform a client who asserts that they want to settle before receiving all information from the other side that they might be accepting less or paying more than what would be required by law. Give a risk assessment that includes estimates of the potential loss or additional costs that could be incurred based on the available knowledge. A competent lawyer would put this suggestion in writing to avoid future misunderstanding claims.

What Must a Lawyer Discuss before Giving Legal Advice?

Every family situation and wealth distribution is unique. Therefore there is no bespoke disclosure exchange that a lawyer needs to go over with you. You should first discuss the Form Fl-17 of the Alberta Rules of Court, a standard disclosure form, with your lawyer.  If you are knowledgeable of your and your spouse’s assets, the lawyer’s legal opinion might be that the disclosure exchange might not include everything from the Form Fl-17.  But let’s say you don’t know anything about the family’s or their spouse’s assets. So that individuals can comprehend how their property would be handled if it were divided following the Family Property Act of Alberta’s rules, their attorney must ensure they receive adequate disclosure. In a few instances, more details are required than the normal Form Fl-17 would imply. The lawyer must obtain sufficient disclosure to explain how the property would be handled and divided following the Family Property Act.  For example, suppose you have been married for 25 years to a stockbroker with complicated finances and are unaware of the family assets. An accurate appraisal of the assets in compliance with the Family Property Act may require more information than Form Fl 17 suggests.


Before you participate in divorce mediation or settlement negotiations with your spouse, you should seek legal advice given the responsibilities I’ve mentioned for the family lawyer above. Before coming to mediation, you should get the counsel of your lawyer and financial planner for the separation of finances.  Count on Alberta Divorce Finances for advice if you need it regarding Alberta divorce finances. In the case of a divorce, we are here to help you comprehend your money. Get a free consultation on the separation agreement in Alberta, Canada, today. 

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