People often decide to make a legal separation agreement before the divorce. It makes the process easier on the one hand and lessens the cost on the other. But they often find it difficult that how to get a separation agreement in Alberta.
This article offers you a complete guideline about the legal separation agreement in Alberta. You will get to know the specific details about this issue in the next sections of this article. So, let’s explore.
What Does It Mean to Be Legally Separated in Alberta?
Legal separation in Alberta refers to the decision where a couple attempts to live apart or separated from each other based on a legal agreement. This, in most cases, is the beginning step to being divorced in the future. Spouses normally start to live separately, having a separation agreement in Alberta.
In other words, the legal separation agreement in Alberta is a kind of written and legally bound document in which lawyers explain the reasons for the separation and spousal rights.
Several issues get included in the separation agreement that helps both husband and wife after getting divorced as follows:
Your legal separation agreement involves your right to spousal support. That means, after getting separated or divorced, your spouse must pay a fixed amount as spousal support. The agreement indicates how much and when to pay the support and for how long.
Also, if your spouse does not agree to pay spousal support, there is a mention in the agreement that you can claim for your spousal support later on. And once your agreement gets finalized, it will strongly reflect all these decisions.
Along with spousal support, children’s rights are also there in the agreement. It includes-
- which parent will get the children’s custody
- whom the children will live and for how long
- when another parent will get access
- how much time
- who will pay how much for child support
- and many more.
This section of the agreement is the most important since it deals with children’s rights.
Matrimonial Property Division
Separation not only means that you and your spouse start living apart, but it also means separating all your rights and interests as well. Marital property division is something like that.
The separation agreement that you are making should contain a clear understanding regarding marital property division issues. For example:
- who will get which property
- how much share one can get of a property if it needs to be sold
- who will do it
- how the selling price will get divided
all these issues should be discussed in the agreement.
Just like a marital property, decisions must also get made regarding matrimonial debts. When you decide to live separately from your spouse, you both definitely need to determine how you deal with your debts after separation. That means who will pay which debts. Your separation agreement must mention this thing, and it’s necessary.
Retirement Income, Pensions, and Other Income
Finally, your separation agreement will involve how many shares you and your spouse will get of your retirement income, pensions, RSPs, RESPs, and other future deposits.
Mostly, this income starts to get after reaching a certain age. An experienced lawyer can make you understand further details about this income and their shares.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Separation Agreement in Alberta?
Of course. You must need a lawyer for a separation agreement in Alberta. Separation is not a very easy task. If you and your spouse decide to make a separation agreement to make the process easier, you obviously need a professional lawyer for this. You can never do it yourself.
A separation agreement is a legally binding document that contains so many issues related to you and your spouse’s life after separation, such as child custody, child support, spousal support, property distribution, debts, pensions, retirement plans, and many more.
You already know what information a separation agreement contains regarding these factors in the previous section.
If the court grants your agreement, you and your spouse must obey the decisions included in the agreement. It is your lawyer who will remind you about your dos and don’ts following the agreement.
Also, the lawyer will present your decisions logically so that your separation agreement gets finalized by the court. Once your contract is finished, it will lessen up your divorce cost a lot.
How Much Does a Legal Separation Cost in Alberta?
One of the most common questions asked by the spouses is about the cost of legal separation in Alberta.
The cost gets decided based on many issues that it contains – whether the couple wants to make a separation agreement or has decided to get divorced in the future, uncontested or contested divorce, lawyers fees, etc.
For these reasons, it is quite difficult to say the exact cost of a legal separation or a divorce in Alberta.
In most cases, an uncontested divorce costs approximately $1,740, and a contested divorce might need approximately $23730.
On the other hand, contested divorce costs double or triple or more than an uncontested divorce. Here, the party pays all the expenses which get proved responsible by the court.
A legal separation agreement in Alberta generally costs $2,500 on an average. It varies a lot, though. If you go for child support and custody cases separately in Alberta, you might need to pay $15,950 approximately.
An uncontested separation agreement costs $995 with children issues and $795 without children issues. Lawyer advice, and signing fees are included in it.
If you add spousal support, you need an extra $200 for that. And if there is any complex situation such as a large investment portfolio, complex projects, in that case, you might have to pay $100 to $1000 extra for the separation agreement.
What Should I Ask for in a Separation Agreement?
Many people ask about getting a legal separation agreement from Alberta and what they should ask for in a separation agreement.
The answer is, you can easily get a legal separation agreement form in any local legal help center in Alberta, or you can even contact them to know how and where to get the form.
A legal separation agreement mainly contains the decision of your separation and the reasons you took such a decision.
But along with it, it also includes a complete guideline on how you and your spouse will live your lives separately with maintaining all your rights and responsibilities.
When separated, your children, property, rights, responsibilities, debts also get separated between you and your spouse. How you will divide these between yourselves your separation agreement preserves a clear understanding about it.
Generally, in a legal separation agreement, you should ask for your rights regarding-
- Spousal support
- Children rights, custody, support, and access
- Property distribution
- Retirement income and pensions
Having asked for in the agreement means you are carrying the right to claim all those if your spouse denies obeying any of them.
What is a Fair Separation Agreement?
A separation agreement is where you and your spouse both have equal rights to talk about your issues without any interruptions by the other. They can express how they want to divide their properties, how they want to maintain their children, and spousal support.
In simple words, a fair separation agreement contains equal rights for both parties to express their opinions regarding their upcoming lives.
So, finally, now you know the details about the legal separation agreement Alberta, right? We have tried to present all the major and basic issues in this article.
Hopefully, this information will help you out a lot. But separation is not at all a good decision or solution. Always think about your children before you make such decisions.