Calgary Separation Agreement Lawyer
Do I need a Separation Agreement in Alberta if my partner and I are not married?
It depends! If you and your partner have children, own property together, or have joint accounts, you will need a separation agreement to properly facilitate the division of your property and confirm your respective parenting rights and obligations. Even if you don’t have shared property or children, it may still be in your best interest to enter into a separation agreement to confirm your respective spousal support obligations and property entitlements.
Can I draft my Alberta Separation Agreement myself using a template I found online?
Unfortunately, the separation agreement templates found online lack reference to the required legislation and Supreme Court of Canada cases that need to be cited in order for a separation agreement to be legally enforceable. It may seem like a cost-effective measure to draft your separation agreement yourself, but it will likely cost you more to have a lawyer review and revise the agreement than if you had had a lawyer draft it in the first place.
Can I skip the Separation Agreement and proceed straight to the divorce in Alberta?
It depends. If you have children, either party owns property, or you have shared accounts you will most likely require a separation agreement. Speak to a lawyer to determine if obtaining a separation agreement is in your best interests.
Why is the date of separation important for married couples?
Your date of separation is important because it determines when you qualify to apply for a divorce. There are three grounds for divorce in Canada:
- Living separate and apart for a period in excess of 1 year;
- Adultery; and
Even if there was some adultery or cruelty resulting in your separation, it is uncommon to use these grounds to qualify for divorce because they must be supported by a finding of fact. Unless the party who committed the acts is willing to admit to them in a sworn affidavit, you will likely need a trial which is neither time nor cost-effective. Consequently, the majority of Canadians apply for divorce upon the grounds that they have lived separate and apart for a period in excess of 1 year.
Is it really necessary for my partner and I to each have our own lawyer sign off on an agreement?
Yes! Each party should retain their own lawyer to review the agreement and confirm it reflects your intentions and that you understand and are willing to be bound by the terms of the contract. This service is often referred to as “independent legal advice” and ensures that the Agreement is properly drafted and legally enforceable.
Is the date of our separation important if my partner and I are not legally married?
Yes! Your date of separation is still important even if you are not legally married because it will determine if you are still entitled to make a claim for support or an interest in property.
I want to transfer my interest in our home to my ex-partner, is a separation agreement sufficient?
If you and your ex-spouse are jointly registered on title to the home you will require a registerable Transfer of Land in addition to a separation agreement. The separation agreement is the legally binding contract specifying property interests and support obligations to one another. A separation agreement will be required if your ex-partner needs to refinance the home or you wish to obtain a mortgage to purchase a new property.