Family Law Blog

What is a Separation Agreement?

What is a Separation Agreement?

Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, break ups happen and they’re never easy. If a couple has been together long term, there are often aspects of their relationship that have to be decided upon when they split.

Sometimes, two adults can come together and decide in good faith upon these issues. However, there is legal recourse when an agreement can’t be reached. In this week's blog (the first of a two-parter), we're going to take a look at the basics of a Separation Agreement.

What is a Separation Agreement?

A separation agreement is a legal document that explains how you and your ex-partner will approach shared aspects of your relationship that exist beyond its end. It commonly deals with guardianship/visitation rights, shared property, spousal support and child support. It’s an effective method of settling family law disputes without having to go to court and can be created in several different ways:


If the relationship ended on amicable terms, it’s often possible for the two parties to come together an discuss their differences in a responsible manner. It’s recommended to approach these discussions with a conciliatory frame of mind and be open to compromise. This is the cheapest and fastest way to resolve any differences.


Despite our best efforts, sometimes a consensus can’t be reached alone. A mediator is a third-party who is trained to facilitate impactful conversations between two parties in disagreement. While a mediator is often a lawyer, they don’t give legal advice and do not “represent” any individual party. Their aim is to achieve the best possible result for both parties.

Collaborative Family Law

In a collaborative practice, both parties and their lawyers cooperate to negotiate an agreement without the need for a day in court. The outcome is typically a collaborative participation agreement that neither party will escalate the disagreement to court, or threaten the other party with court action. If this approach fails, both parties must find new legal representation before going to court.

Find Out More

Westside Family Law can assist with any legal aspect of the separation agreement process. Contact us and we’ll be happy to assist.

In Our Next Blog:

In next week’s blog, we’ll continue looking at Separation Agreements with an examination of the different aspects and what to look out for within each.