Couples who decided to live separately should formulate a legal separation agreement. It helps especially when:
- Both the parties own a home jointly,
- They have children,
- They have joint bank accounts,
- They have some assets jointly owned
Separation agreement legally bounds either parties to exercise their rights and duties pertaining with their children, as well as the things they own jointly.
According to popular family lawyers Toronto, Niroomand Family Law, here are 8 reasons to have a separation agreement during separation or divorce:
- If you don’t trust your spouse to live up to verbal agreements the two of you make together a legal separation agreement, one signed and witnessed by either a judge or 3rd party can be used in court should your spouse not live up to any part of the agreement. A verbal agreement is not a legal contract and you have no protection should one or the other spouse, stray from any verbal agreements.
- If you are a non-working spouse and have a need for spousal support. Once again, this can’t be enforced without a legal court order, you will need a legal separation agreement to define how much support will be paid and on what date.
- If you have children and want child support. You can’t enforce the payment of child support without a legal court order. If your state recognizes legal separation, child support can be calculated according to your state’s child support guidelines and become part of your legal separation agreement.
- If there is high conflict and both of you are unable to engage in healthy communication a legal separation agreement will define what is expected of you both during the period of separation. Having this defined will go a long way in keeping down the need for communication and further conflict.
- You will need to come to an agreement on who pays what bills. If you own a home, a legal separation agreement is imperative to keep from falling behind on mortgage payments. And, who pays car payments, car insurance premiums, the light bill and so forth.
- If you have children and need to set up a visitation schedule. This is imperative! A legal separation agreement can, not only, define a visitation schedule but, also who has access to the children when in your spouse’s custody, where your children reside when not in your custody and whether or not your children can travel without your consent.Toronto family law firm believes a legal separation agreement is your first line of defense when it comes to protecting your parental rights.
- There is also the issue of cohabitation. Should your child be exposed to another man/woman spending the night at your spouse’s home during the period of separation? If you don’t want your child exposed to a steady stream of incoming and outgoing boyfriends and girlfriends, a legal separation agreement is a great way to protect them.
- You need to take into consideration issues such as health insurance. Who will maintain coverage, who will be covered and, who will pay out of pocket expenses if a child or either spouse becomes ill?