Legal Separation agreement

March 14th, 2013 by John Schuman

Legal Separation agreement In Ontario not through the court

Hi, I read that in Ontario you need to have a third party witness the signing of a legal separation agreement that is between Husband & Wife ( there own document ). Asked today from Pickering, Ontario
Answer by John P. Schuman, Toronto Family Lawyer.

Yes. To have legal separation agreement in Ontario, you have to meet three basic criteria: the separation agreement has to be in writing, it has to be signed and both parties have to have their signature witnesses. There are some additional considerations. A court can set aside the separation agreement, if either party asks, in certain conditions. These additional conditions essentially create other rules you must follow.

Those rules are:

  • Both parties have to fully understand the agreement – to understand a legal document judges think people should have independent legal advice, so this really means both sides need to see a Toronto family lawyer to at least have the agreement explained to them before they sign.
  • The parties must exchange all relevant financial disclosure. This usually means exchanging information about your income, all your assets (and their value) and all of your debts. This goes back to understanding again. How can you understand if your deal is a good one if you do not know what your ex’s financial situation is like?
  • The agreement must otherwise comply with the law of contract. There are rules for contracts. Lawyers know them.


You would probably have to get a book on contract law to know them. Also, complying with the law of contract also means that the negotiations were done properly and the parties fully contemplated their circumstances at the time of the agreement and in the future. Again, the best way to make sure you have done this is to see a lawyer. If you do not follow these steps, you agreement may be worthless if you ever need to enforce it in court… meaning it is only good as long as you and your ex decide to keep following it.

Also, there is a lot more detail about the rules for legal separation agreements, and the Family Law that you need to understand in this $20, easy to understand book on Ontario Family Law Devry Basics of Ontario Family Law .

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