Marriage Separation Agreements in Ontario

The final objective is to get it in writing with no surprises.

The issues arising from a breakdown in a marriage are not resolved until it is in writing in a separation agreement that deals with all major issues, including all aspects of parenting and financial settlement. The agreement will cover what happens to the matrimonial home, property division and where children will live, and detail co-parenting arrangements.

These agreements require a high degree of formality – they must be in writing, have adequate financial disclosure, independent legal advice, and be signed and witnessed.

The lawyer’s job is not just to get you a final agreement, but one that you can rely on and which protects your present and future rights. It is critical to understand the difference between deals that are permanent and those which are subject to variation in the future. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses in these agreements is critical in planning your settlement and protecting your rights. Set the terms of divorce that take care of you now and later.

Elliot S. Birnboim, the creator of, has over 20 years of experience in negotiation and drafting family law separation agreements that protect his clients’ rights in the present and in the long term. Understanding how your circumstances may change in the future and anticipating how future disputes may arise are critical aspects of Elliot’s strategic advice in resolving matters.

Of critical importance is understanding and building in mechanisms that enable you to enforce your separation agreement through the Court and through other means in the event of a breach by your spouse. In this respect, creativity and forethought are the keys to ensuring an effective and enforceable agreement.

Setting Aside Separation Agreements

Elliot S. Birnboim has extensive experience in one of the most challenging areas of family law: when can a separation agreement be set aside? Issues such as fairness, both in the formation of the separation agreement (including financial disclosure, legal advice, undue pressure and influence) and the result of the separation agreement (including both foreseeable and unforeseeable financial consequences of the agreement or in the lives of the spouses) are all material in assessing a case.

Timing of making a claim to set aside a separation agreement is critical and delay in pursuing such a claim can have serious consequences. Early advice is critical.

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