2. Make a separation agreement

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CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Ministry of the Attorney General
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)

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Can we stop our family case and try to solve our problems another way?updated
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2. Make a separation agreement

If you and your partner agree on how to deal with your family law issues, you can put what you've agreed on in a separation agreement.

Your separation agreement can deal with all or some of your issues like:

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.

Your separation agreement has to follow certain rules to make it binding and enforceable under the law. This means your agreement is made in a way that allows the court to order you or your partner to do what the agreement says, if either of you stop following it.

For example, the rules say before you sign your agreement, you must understand it, the process is fair, and that you and your partner give complete and honest information about your finances.

You can talk to a lawyer who can give you advice about the rules your agreement needs to follow to make it legal. If you can't afford to hire a lawyer, you may be able to find legal help in other places.

Once you and your partner make a separation agreement, you may choose to file it with the court.

Some of the reasons to do this are so:

  • the court can enforce the support terms of your agreement by ordering you and your partner to follow it
  • a government agency, called the Family Responsibility Office can enforce support payments

To file your separation agreement:

  1. Attach your most current separation agreement to a Form 26B: Affidavit for Filing Domestic Contract or Paternity Agreement.
  2. Take it to the local courthouse. You can file your agreement only at the Ontario Court of Justice or the Family Court branch of the Superior Court of Justice. You cannot file your agreement at other locations of the Superior Court of Justice.

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Law Society of Ontario
Reviewed: March 1, 2021

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