Separation Without a Court Battle
When couples decide to separate, many questions begin to swirl.
What would the impact of a divorce be on the children?; should the house be put on the market?; How much is a Court case going to cost?; and could this separation bankrupt both parties?
It is rarely easy to make the decision to end a relationship. Over the years, you build your life with your partner by having children and/or jointly accumulating property. Now, you must start the process of dividing your property, deciding how to support your spouse or partner and your children and generally come to an agreement on how to live separate and apart.
Family Law lawyers often see cases where the parties spend a significant amount of money litigating issues that could have been resolved out of Court. Rather than becoming involved in a lengthy and expensive court proceeding, if there is a possibility that you and your former spouse or partner can come to an agreement on some or all of the issues stemming from your separation, you can enter into a Separation Agreement.
A Separation Agreement is a legal document in which parties can come to an agreement regarding their respective rights and obligations from the separation including, but not limited to, ownership and division of property, custody of and access to children, and support obligations of either or both parties.
It is important to note that a signed Separation Agreement does not mean that you are divorced. You must still apply to the court to seek a Divorce Order.
It is a requirement that the parties to a Separation Agreement exchange full and complete financial disclosure. Failure to disclose certain assets and liabilities could result in a court setting aside a Separation Agreement. Each situation is unique and consulting with a lawyer prior to drafting or signing any Separation Agreement only makes sense.
Entering the “separation battlefield”, so to speak, armed with the right tools and knowledge can bring you further ahead in negotiating terms of a Separation Agreement than if you come to the table without a basic understanding of your rights and obligations.
For more details on separation agreements, please call Gelman & Associates to set up a personal consultation.