Divorce & separation

How to write your own separation agreement

How to use this guide

This guide divides the separation agreement into the following sections:

These sections are listed on the right-hand navigation panel and at the bottom of each page.

Your agreement must include the Introductory clauses and Conclusion. Include the sections on parenting, child support, spousal support, property, and debts as necessary, depending on your situation.

As you go through the sections, you can include the paragraphs (sometimes called clauses) that apply to your situation. When you have finished each section, you need to generate a text version of the section. Copy and paste this text from your browser into a word processor (such as Microsoft Word). The compilation of all of your sections will make up your agreement. See below for more details.

Tip: As you go through the sections of this guide, your information is not saved. This is to protect your privacy. But this means that any information you enter will be lost when you navigate to a new page or close your browser window. Be sure to complete each section and to create a text version before moving on to the next section.

Using the instructions

Each section of the agreement is divided into topics. Each topic has a heading. Under each heading, there's a Show instructions button. If you click this button, step-by-step instructions for how to go through and fill out that part of the agreement appear. (See the sample button below.)

Show instructions

If you're stuck on how to proceed with part of a section, clicking Show instructions will reveal step-by-step instructions to help you. You can always collapse the instructions by clicking the button again.

These instructions don't appear in your text file.

Including paragraphs (clauses)

Each topic contains sample paragraphs (also called clauses) to deal with different situations.

Tip: All the paragraphs/clauses in each section are automatically included in your text file unless you click Don't include. If you change your mind, you can always include the paragraph again by clicking Include.

As you go through each section, decide which paragraphs apply to your situation. If a paragraph doesn't apply, click Don't include. The paragraph will be greyed out; it won't appear in your text file.

Once a paragraph is greyed out, you can always include it again by clicking Include. (See the sample paragraph below.)

Sample paragraph: This agreement is a final agreement.
Include
Don't include

For some paragraphs, you may need to enter additional information. The instructions will clarify what you need to do.

Tip: Each paragraph is numbered to make it easier to use as you go through the sections. However, these numbers do not appear in your text file. You'll have to enter those numbers yourself (see below).

Creating a text file

  1. When you have completed a section, click the Open text version button. This button appears at the bottom of each section and on the right-hand navigation panel. (See the sample button below.) When you click this button, a text version of the section opens in a new browser window. This text file has the paragraphs you've included and any information you've added.
  2. Copy and paste the text from the browser into your word processor.
  3. Go through the section and number each paragraph/clause. The numbering for each section should pick up where the numbering for the last section left off.
  4. Do this for each section. Then compile all of the sections into one document, print it, and sign it. This will be your separation agreement.