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What if my partner and I agree on what to do after we separate or divorce?
There are some good reasons to make a written separation agreement:
- It can be faster, cheaper, and less stressful than going to court.
- It lets you and your partner decide what works best for you and your family.
- It lets others involved in your children's care, such as their school, daycare, and doctor, know what has been agreed on.
- It's easier to prove what you and your partner agreed on if you have a written rather than a verbal agreement.
- If there is a problem getting child support or spousal support, the Family Responsibility Office can help.
- Monthly spousal support cannot be tax deductible without a separation agreement or court order.
If you're married, you don't get a divorce by signing a separation agreement. To legally divorce and end your marriage, you must apply for a divorce order from the court. But you can agree on when and how to get a divorce in your separation agreement.
When to make a separation agreement
You can make a separation agreement at any time after you separate. But there are time limits for making certain claims. For example, you have 6 years from the date of separation but only 2 years from the date of your divorce to make a claim for dividing property.
You don't have to wait until you and your partner agree on everything before making a separation agreement. You can make an agreement on the things you agree on, while working on other issues.
You can also change a separation agreement at any time by making a new one, if both you and your partner agree to the changes.