Commonly Overlooked Issues on Separation

When both married and common law couples separate, it is important that all matters be addressed in a comprehensive separation agreement. Some commonly overlooked issues are:

Common Law Couples: (common law rights begin to be acquired as soon as people begin co-habiting, contrary to the popular belief it does not take 6 months or a year).

1) Government regulated child support;
2) Partner support;
3) Claims to the other party's property;
4) Inability to get a mortgage without a properly executed agreement.

Married Couples

1) Division of government and private pensions;
2) Claims to each other's estate;
3) Health insurance policies;
4) Dower release registration.

Even a "simple" separation, in which both parties cooperate, requires that all matters be properly documented and that independent legal advice be provided. A properly prepared and executed separation agreement ensures peace of mind for the future.

Co-habitation and pre-nuptial agreements, entered into at the start of any relationship, provide the best means of forestalling future controversies in the event of relationship's breakdown.