So you and your partner have decided to separate, what’s next? There is no legal action that you must take to separate from your spouse. However, if you and your former spouse have significant assets or debts, there is a substantial difference in your incomes, or you have children together, you may find it beneficial to deal with all or some of these issues by way of an agreement. We refer to this type of agreement as a separation agreement.
The Family Law Act is the law which governs separation in British Columbia for married spouses in all cases and unmarried spouses in some cases (i.e. couples living together in a marriage-like relationship for two years or more and couples who have children together).
Should you and your partner not be able to agree on such issues as; property division, spousal support, child support, or parenting then you may want to consider mediation or collaborative divorce to help resolve those issues. Going to court to resolve outstanding issues should be a last resort, as going to court is expensive and adversarial.
Note that while a separation agreement can settle most matters, it does not cause you to be divorced and you must apply to the courts for a divorce order. For more information on the difference between divorce and separation, please see the article, “Divorce vs. Separation – What is the Difference?”.
We hope this article helps answer your question “What is a Legal Separation Agreement?”. Should you have any questions or require help with drafting a separation agreement, please contact us at 604-449-7779.