A separation agreement can cover all kinds of things, but can an agreement that has been in place for years stand up in a divorce? When a couple decides to divorce after years of separation and have had a separation agreement in place according to British Columbia family law rules, most people would want to know if the agreement — which might have spelled out things like child custody, assets and debts — would transition into a divorce scenario. Can one spouse ask for increased child and/or spousal support in this instance?
Although there is no such thing as a legal separation in Canada, an agreement that has been signed by both individuals after independent legal advice has been sought becomes legally binding. The only way the stipulations in that agreement could change is if life circumstances have drastically changed. For instance, if one spouse stands to lose something in the event of a formal divorce, he or she could try to recover what would be lost — such as benefits, life insurance or pension entitlements.
It may cost a person more money to go after something that might be lost than what it would be worth to keep it. In any case, each person might do well to seek the help and advice of independent legal counsel. It is better to have the proper legal advice moving forward.
A British Columbia family law lawyer may be able to help his or her client understand how a separation agreement would work moving into a divorce scenario. After reviewing a situation, a lawyer may be able to suggest whether or not a separation agreement would protect his or her client from any future action of a former spouse. Knowing how the law may help an individual make more informed decisions.