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Sepration Agreement

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  • #16
    You both need to get independent legal advice (each take it to your own lawyer) and have each lawyer sign off on it for it to be iron clad. Otherwise she can contest it later.

    Each lawyer signing it with each of you (*you should end up with 4 copies with 4 signatures, the lawyers keep a copy on file) is good enough, the notary doesn't really mean anything. If she doesn't get independent legal advice, just a notaray won't give you any protection from her trying to reopen it.

    That said, if you have an access schedule with the children and abide by it for 6 months, you will be in a status quo situation and it would be very difficult to change the children's schedule, if not impossible. If the children are doing well a court would not change the schedule just because one parent changed their minds. If there is a material change in circumstance, the custody/access can be challenged no matter how iron-clad the agreement is.

    If you equalize any property/assets properly, there is nothing to reopen.

    Child support should be paid according to tables. If it is not, the agreement can still be reopened later, child support will almost always be set by the courts according to table amounts.

    The main tricky thing you want to lock down is spousal support. If your ex (or you) has no possible entitlement then you are good.

    Many couples do quite well without lawyers or court orders.

    If you each get independent legal advice and the lawyers sign the agreement, then you can have the separation agreement registered with the courts or, more easily, incorporated into the divorced order. Talk to the court clerk or duty counsel about this.


    • #17
      haven't posted in a long while...but your OP reminded me of what I went through...many moons ago...
      I had a friend who was a family law lawywer at the time. He advised me to "write my own" sep ag. and then take it to a lawyer when it was agreeable to both parties.
      I got a few sample agreements to guide me...and worked many hours on it. I would email drafts to my child's mom, and then we would discuss problems via emails...Once we figured we had everything covered, we split the cost ($750) to have it put on legal letterhead and witnessed etc...we had a few issues that were tough, like who would actually move out. I agreed to move as long as I got the access i wanted, namely 50% minimum, with no support going either way. I ended up losing a sizezable chunk of the equity I had built in the house, but I have no regrets about that.
      I guess the main point I want to hammer home here is twofold...
      1- Do all your negotiating ahead of time before getting lawyers involved, or they may end up taking most or all of your equity.
      this is really important....
      The day will come when you will be friends with her will see. I was adamant that that would never happen in my case...but it did! Its all about your child, and that child needs both parents. Remember that always.

      I recall reading a book at the time, and I have never forgotten something in it.
      "Make all decisions in the best interest of the child, and you will never go wrong" far that has been the best advice I ever received.

      It isn't easy, and takes time, but someday you will look back proudly on the way you handled things if you follow that advice.


      • #18
        The $$ impact depends on the level of income.

        It is my understanding that this "after-tax" income benefit should be taken into consideration for child support.

        For example: In our agreement (which is shared 50/50 custody) we have a clause which states I will always claim our child as "equivalent to spouse". This is there because "technically" we both pay support to each other.

        When it comes to doing income taxes this can mean a difference of approx $1 - 2 thousand back a year...depending on my income that year. So...when I do my taxes I quickly do 2 with claiming the "equavelent to spouse" and one without. I print off both forms (as I use tax software) and claim the difference as "income" when caluculating what my CS is going to be that year. I also claim the CTB and the $100 a month grant as income as well...for CS purposes.


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