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Following the breakdown of a marriage, separation is the first step in eventually obtaining a divorce and legally ending the relationship. The separation process is generally confusing, stressful, and overwhelming and is best undertaken with guidance from an experienced family lawyer.
The Toronto family lawyers at Arbesman Hamilton LLP regularly help clients navigate the separation process, including the process of obtaining a separation agreement. We provide legal advice to clients on how best to protect themselves following a separation; draft, review, revise, and negotiate separation agreements; as well as provide independent legal advice.
Unlike a divorce, a separation does not change the parties’ legal status from married to single. Rather, a separated couple remains legally married, but lives “separate and apart” from one another.
There is no formal “time limit” to a separation, after which a divorce automatically occurs. Instead, couples can choose to remain separated indefinitely without ever filing for divorce. However, where one, or both, of the former partners wishes to remarry, they must first be divorced. To obtain a divorce, a former couple must first be separated for at least a year.
A separation agreement is a legally binding contract between the two parties getting separated, and is negotiated and finalized following their separation.
Separation agreements are an important means through which you can protect your rights and assets after the breakdown of a marriage, and can prevent additional confusion or potentially prolonged legal battles. A separation agreement will lay out, in detail, each person’s rights with respect to important matters such as division of property, division of assets and liabilities, child custody, child support, and spousal support.
Separating from your spouse can be stressful and emotionally draining. Having an experienced family lawyer on your side can help you navigate this uncertain time in your life, help you understand your legal rights, and ultimately protect your assets and interests. Proactively plan for your new future: contact the Toronto family lawyers at Arbesman Hamilton LLP online or at 416-481-5604 to book a consultation.
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