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Should I have a Separation Agreement before leaving my spouse or  Common Law partner?

What is a separation agreement?

A separation agreement is a written document drafted before or after married couples or adult interrelationship partners separate. A separation agreement includes clauses and terms related to the particulars of the parties involved such as assets, liabilities, financial disclosure, child support, and spousal/partner support.

A separation agreement is therefore an all-encompassing document with terms covering the interests of both parties guiding them on how to proceed with life after the split. 

It is important for most separated couples to have a document in place to specify all the aspects of the separation. 

For a separation agreement to be legal each party must be represented by their own independent lawyer who signs and endorses the final agreement. There are circumstances that do not require a separation agreement before a divorce or a separation. Our experienced lawyers at Shim Law would be able to tell whether your situation warrants a separation agreement.

Why do I need a Separation Agreement?

Few people do not think they need any form of an agreement prior to their divorce or separation from their common-law partner. However, each party to the divorce or separation usually has a set of expectations on how their assets and liabilities should be divided, who should get the custody of children, receive child support, and who should pay spousal /partner support. What makes this complicated is that parties’ expectations usually conflict with one another’s and if left unresolved this conflict could remain to haunt you years after separation. Even when parties generally agree on certain terms during their divorce/separation they tend to divert from those terms years down the road if not written clearly and precisely.  So putting separation agreement in writing prevents any future misunderstanding that might arise from child custody, spousal entitlements, assets, and liabilities. Thus, here below  are some of the reasons why you should seriously consider having a separation agreement written prior to finally splitting:

  • If properly executed, a separation agreement acts as a buffer between the qualms in your past life and your future new life. It regulates the issues in your past life and reduces the chances of them affecting your future relationship and happiness. 
  • Separation Agreement addresses critical elements  surrounding your separation such as the welfare and future of the children, determines who gets child custody and how much access the non-custodial parent should have, who pays child support, how much and how the child support shall be paid
  • A good Separation Agreement helps to ensure that your spousal arrangements are adhered to while you live separately in the future.
  • A separation agreement is useful proof when conducting post-separation transactions with Canada Revenue Agency, your employer, as well as the bank.
  • A good Separation Agreement can help guide your divorce arrangements as you determine what is acceptable and what is not for your family.

Our team of experienced family law experts at Shim law can help determine what you need at every stage of your marriage or separation to protect your interest. Do not take the risk of allowing your past dilemma and failures to spill over to spoil your present relationship and future happiness. 

If you would like further information on; Separation Agreement, Prenuptial Agreement, Post Nuptial Agreement, Divorce, Child Support, Spousal Support, Stay of Maintenance Enforcement Program  (MEP),  Custody, Child Guardianship, Apprehension Order, Temporary Guardianship Order (TGO), and Permanent Guardianship Order.

Please contact us at Shim Law Now.

Email me at [email protected] or call me at 403-476-2011 (ext. 109)

We can serve you in English, French, and Chinese (Mandarin) 






为了使分居协议合法,双方必须由各自独立的律师代表签署直至最终协议。有些情况在分居前不需要该协议。在Shim Law我们经验丰富的律师能够判断你的情况是否需要一份分居协议。




  • •如果执行得当,分居协议可以作为你过去生活和新生活之间的缓冲。它控制了你过去生活中的问题,减少了它们影响你未来幸福的机会;
  • •分居协议涉及关键因素关于儿童福利和未来决定谁获得孩子的监护权,非监护权父母有多少机会,谁支付子女抚养费,以及子女抚养费应如何支付;
  • •一份好的分居协议有助于确保在你们分开居住时遵守配偶的安排;
  • •分居协议是与加拿大税务局、你的雇主以及银行进行分居后交易的有用证明;
  • •一份好的分居协议可以帮助指导你的离婚协议因为你可以决定什么对你的家庭来说是可以接受的,什么是不能接受的。

在Shim Law,我们经验丰富的家庭法律师们可以帮助你确定在婚姻或分居的每个阶段需要什么,以保护你的利益。



我的电子邮件地址是[email protected]或致电403-476-2011 (ext. 109)


About Louis

As a lawyer, Louis has appeared in all three levels of courts in Alberta (The Provincial  Court, Court of Queen’s Bench, and the Appeal Court)  He is passionate about Law practice and committed to finding the best solution to your legal needs.

In his spare time, Louis likes to make new friends and explore foreign cultures

He can be reached at [email protected] or 403-476-2011 

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About Shim Law

Shim Law is a multicultural law firm that provides legal services to clients in Calgary and around the world. With lawyers fluent in up to 20 languages, we can provide accurate legal representation regardless of language barriers. Our practice areas include family law, real estate law, and more.

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