Separation Agreements, Cohabitation Agreements and Uncontested Divorces

Separation Agreements

When a couple decides to live separately, the next step is to negotiate parenting arrangements, property division/equalization, child support, spousal support and related issues. These terms are incorporated into a legally binding contract called a Separation Agreement. Separation Agreements can be negotiated in mediation or the collaborative process.

Marriage Contracts and Cohabitation Agreements

Cohabitation Agreements and Marriage Contracts set out terms and process for property division and sometimes support upon separation or the death of a spouse. Cohabitation agreements are important because the law is unclear with respect to property division after cohabitation, particularly in light of recent Supreme Court of Canada decisions. Marriage Contracts are recommended where one spouse owns a home or cottage, in second marriages, and in first marriages where one or both spouses have significant assets or business interests. Cohabitation Agreements and Marriage Contracts are particularly well-suited to resolution using Collaborative Practice given the wish to maintain a strong relationship and also negotiate a wise agreement in the event of future separation.

Uncontested Divorces

A divorce is a court order formally severing a marriage. An uncontested divorce can be obtained without the need for attendance at court. A person is entitled to commence a divorce anytime after separation, and the divorce will be granted after one year of separation. Typically, spouses proceed with divorce after the Separation Agreement has been signed. The court will not grant a divorce unless it is satisfied that child support is being paid in accordance with the law. I and most lawyers charge a fixed fee for an uncontested divorce which will include my time, court disbursements and taxes. An uncontested divorce process takes about four to five months involves two brief attendances at my office to sign documents.