A married couple is said to have separated when one or both of them make the decision that they cannot continue the marriage and communicate to each other this decision. Divorce lawyers and family lawyers should be contacted in order to resolve issues arising out of a separation. There is no need for both the spouses to agree that they should separate, decision by one spouse to separate ends the marriage. Read on to know more about separation and separation agreements.
When a couple decides to separate, it does not always mean that they stay separately. They can be separated under one roof. Also, when the couple separates, it does not essentially have to end in divorce. They can go for counseling in order to openly talk about their problems, resolve them and reconstruct their relationship. A successful counseling can help the couple reconcile and resume their lives like before. But to those couple who cannot reconcile, separation leads to divorce. A separation of one year is taken as a reason for divorce.
Agreements that are legal contracts and are aimed at resolving legal issues that occur due to separation of a couple are called separation agreements. The issues covered by the agreement include those dealing with the children and the spouses themselves. Here are a few of them.
- The issues on children that arise from a separation include child guardianship and custody. Custody includes aspects like with whom the children will stay, who will take important decisions in their lives and who will take care of them. Also, how these decisions are made are included in the agreement.
- Child access and support are covered in the agreement. Visitation refers to how the children get to spend their time with each of their parents. The way the financial needs are met with by the spouses so that the children reap the financial benefits as they would were the spouses still married, is covered in the separation agreement.
- Spousal support is an issue addressed in the agreement. Here, it is decided if a spouse is entitled to spousal support. The financial conditions of each of the spouses and their contribution to the marriage are taken into consideration to decide how much and for what duration, spousal support is to be awarded. The aspect of who provides financial support to who is covered in the agreement.
- One more issue that is covered in the agreement is property division after a separation. This refers to how the assets should be divided among the spouses. It also includes how the liabilities are taken care of after the separation.
Alternative dispute resolution
In case you want to separate with your spouse, you can consider mediation, collaborative practice, arbitration or other alternative dispute resolution methods. This should be done so that there is no ensuing battle over issues arising out of separation. These methods ensure that all the issues are taken care of through cooperation. The couple can negotiate and settle on the different aspects by keeping in consideration the best interests of the children. Assistance of mediators, divorce lawyers and family lawyers could be taken to make certain that a fair settlement that is mutually agreed upon is reached by the spouses.
Benita Hisey works for Shulman Law Firm in Toronto. It is giving Toronto Divorce Lawyers and Family Lawyers a knowledge and experience to express themselves.