In negotiating to settle a divorce in Ontario, the objective is to arrive at a written agreement that protects your rights now and in the future. You don’t want surprises regarding your children, finances or the matrimonial home. To eliminate uncertainties, the proper mechanisms should be built into the language of the agreement so that it will be enforceable in court and other areas of life for years to come.
To arrive at a favorable separation agreement that protects your interests, it is critical that your lawyer understands how your financial and family circumstances may change in the future. By considering your specific situation, and by creatively anticipating how disputes could arise, an experienced family law lawyer can draft a strong and highly formal agreement that details your intentions for the matrimonial home, asset division and parenting arrangements.
The separation agreement must include accurate financial disclosures from both parties. (We discussed these matters in our recent post, “How is the equalization payment calculated in an Ontario divorce?“) When one spouse fails to provide the financial information needed to arrive at a fair settlement, then preparing for litigation and going to court can show that you intend to exercise and protect your rights.
It should be noted that going to court does not automatically mean that your divorce will go to trial. However, you can send a message that you will seek a judge’s ruling and not back down until you reach a proper settlement.
Understandably, most spouses want to avoid going to court. The process can be time-consuming and expensive. If you and your spouse have equal bargaining power, then family mediation may be the right option.
Toronto lawyer Elliot S. Birnhoim helps spouses address all of these matters. You can visit MatrimonialHome.com for more information about his law practice.