A separation agreement is a written contract between you and your spouse to live apart on certain terms and conditions, which usually includes sections on parenting arrangements, support issues, and the division of property, assets and debts. Separation agreements are usually written by lawyers, and both you and your spouse should get independent legal advice before you sign the agreement to make sure the agreement is right for you. Separation agreements are sometimes called 'Minutes of Settlement.'
You are not required to have a separation agreement put in place when you separate. If you do make a separation agreement, then you may be able to apply to the court to ask for it to be registered in certain situations. When a separation agreement is registered with the court, this makes it a court order, and it may be able to be enforced like a court order.
It is strongly recommended that you see a Nova Scotia family law lawyer to write your separation agreement.
You may see example separation agreements on the Internet, or store-bought kits for writing your own agreement. Be very careful about using templates that you find online, or kits that you buy in a store. There is no organization that checks to make sure that these templates or kits are accurate, or that they are in a format that will be accepted by the courts in Nova Scotia. The only way to know that the agreement you are using is in the right format is to check with a family law lawyer, preferably one that works in Nova Scotia.
Be careful also of hiring an online company to do your separation agreement or divorce forms. These companies are not regulated, and there is no guarantee that they are using the right forms or completing them properly. To make sure that you are using the right forms, always speak with a family law lawyer. For divorce forms, you can also speak with court staff.
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