Family law: Final separation agreements may not be final at all

If a separating couple is going to have a documented separation agreement, they might want to know that it may never be a final document. Separation and divorce in British Columbia are governed by family law. Agreements drawn up without legal advice may be scrutinized by the court if parts of the document are erroneous.

For instance, such a document was written by the husband of a British Columbia couple who was separating. A judge decided that the one-page, double-spaced document left out a number of important details and stipulated that the document was final. When the husband decided he didn't like the agreement and thought he deserved more of the pie, he tried to have it declared invalid on a number of grounds and began family law proceedings. A judge ruled that the agreement was not final, which paved the way for the husband to pursue added compensation from his estranged wife, who was a business owner. The judge actually ordered the wife to pay the man $150,000.

There are things that should be included in a separation agreement to make it legally binding. Part of that entails full and frank financial disclosure of both parties. If the agreement falls short in any area legally, it stands the chance of being disregarded.

A British Columbia family law lawyer would be able to assist in drawing up a separation agreement that adheres to all provincial legalities. Having a legally binding document may save the time, expense and stress of having a judge make a final ruling on whether its contents are valid. A lawyer may be able to ensure that his or her client doesn't have to go through the emotionally wrought dispute process by crafting an all-encompassing separation agreement.

 

 

 

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