Technically, separation agreements are legally inapplicable. You need at least two copies: one for you and one for your spouse. Be sure to print copies of the agreement before signing the agreement so that each copy receives an original signature. If you and your partner are having trouble agreeing, divorce/dissolution may be the best option. The point of a separation agreement is that the contract will be enforceable in court at a later date if the parties do not comply. Therefore, the agreement must be applicable and it must be able to face a challenge in the courts, that is, it must be formulated in this way and contain conditions that are reasonably fair, so that a court maintains the agreement when it is challenged. If you are not frank and honest about your finances, you are likely to be unseeded in the future. Anyone who witnesses an agreement will not be a party to the agreement and is not responsible for compliance with the agreement. The signature of a witness to an agreement simply says, “I know that Mr. Smith and I saw him sign the agreement.” Also note that the courts can maintain a verbal agreement if, as in Thomson/. Young, 2014 BCSC 799, there is evidence that both parties clearly understood the essential terms of the agreement and intended to be bound by those conditions. But there are often disagreements between the parties as to whether an oral agreement should be final and binding, so it is preferable to confirm oral agreements in a written separation agreement.
A separation agreement gives you the opportunity to solve problems, slowly and over time, without the pressure of a divorce action over your head. Once a divorce action has been initiated and included in the court calendar, you and your spouse must attend court conferences and meet certain deadlines. This pressure will be avoided if you sign a separation agreement. A document that sets out the essential conditions of an agreement reached between two or more parties to a judicial procedure established after negotiations and signed by the parties and their lawyers. Settlement protocols generally serve as a guide for the preparation of a formal final agreement or final contract and are often attached to this set of agreements. See “consent order,” “family law agreements,” “litigant” and “order.” As it is written, a separation agreement is good evidence of the decisions that will be made between you and your spouse for future references. A separation agreement is not technically binding. However, if it is well written and you have both had legal advice, it will be difficult for a party to argue in court that they do not have to comply with the terms.
If you have already decided what should be included in your separation agreement, ask independent family law experts to review them and turn them into a legal document. You cannot use the same lawyer because it means that the agreement cannot be considered in court as part of your divorce/dissolution. You can use a separation agreement if you and your ex-partner are considering divorce or breaking up your life partnership, but they have not decided to separate.