Divorce & separation

How to write your own separation agreement

Section 1: Introductory clauses (Must include)

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Start your agreement with your names and the date the agreement is signed and witnessed (witnesses watch you sign and then sign themselves).

You can't backdate a family law agreement to a time before you actually made the agreement. So the date you reach the agreement may be different from the date you sign it. That's okay.

Your basic information

Most family law agreements involve only two people.

  1. In the first text box, enter the date of your agreement. If you don't know the date yet, you can add it later.
  2. Under BETWEEN and then under AND, in the boxes on the left, enter your full names and addresses.
  3. Under BETWEEN and then under AND, in the Short name text boxes, enter a short version of your names (probably just your first names). These are the names that you'll use throughout the agreement.
  4. In the last text box, enter the child/children's first names.

Once you've entered this information, the names will appear below in place of Party 1, Party 2, Name, or Child/children's names.

This agreement was made on .

BETWEEN:

 

AND:

 

Child/children's names:

Recitals

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Recitals is the legal word for the paragraphs in your agreement that set out the facts and descriptions. These include:

  • names and birth dates of children,
  • information about the parties’ occupations and incomes, and
  • details about family property.

Recitals show that:

  • you both know about and agree upon certain important information, and
  • that you understand this information is important to the agreement.

You don’t need to include your whole story in the recital — only those things that are relevant to the agreement.

You can put all the recitals at the top of an agreement. But in this guide, we have divided the agreement into sections and put most of the recitals into the sections they relate to. At the top, we just include some key information and general recitals that don't relate specifically to any of the sections.

The next paragraphs set out some common recitals. Use the ones that apply to your situation.

Relationship information

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The short names that you entered above will automatically appear in the paragraphs below.

Tip: Remember that all the paragraphs below 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.

  1. Decide which paragraphs apply to your situation. Click Don't include for the paragraphs that don't apply.
  2. If you lived together before you got married, or you never got married, include paragraph 1. In the text box, enter the year, month, and day you started living together.
  3. If you were married, include paragraph 2. Then:
    1. In the first text box, enter the year, month, and day you got married.
    2. In the second text box, enter the location.
  4. If you and the other party have been living separate and apart, include paragraph 3. In the text box, enter the year, month, and day you started living apart.
  5. If you lived separate and apart but in the same residence for a time, include paragraph 4:
    1. In the first text box, enter the year, month, and day you started living separately.
    2. In the second text box, enter the year, month, and day you moved into different residences.

Party 1 and Party 2 began living in a marriage-like relationship on .

Include
Don't include

Party 1 and Party 2 were married on at .

Include
Don't include

Party 1 and Party 2 have been living separate and apart since .

Include
Don't include

Party 1 and Party 2 have been living separate and apart in the same residence since and moved into different residences on .

Include
Don't include

Information about children

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Not all possibilities are covered here. See the CLEBC manual for paragraphs you can use if one or both spouses have children from other relationships.

  1. Decide which paragraphs apply to your situation. Click Don't include for the paragraphs that don't apply.
  2. If you have children, include paragraph 7. Then:
    1. Include paragraphs 8 – 11, depending on the number of children you have.
    2. For paragraphs 8 – 11:
      1. In the first text box, enter the child's name.
      2. In the second text box, enter the year, month, and day the child was born.
  3. If you have children over 19 who need financial support, include paragraph 12. Then:
    1. In the text box, enter why they need support. (For example, they're attending a post-secondary school, or they have a disability.)
    2. Include paragraphs 13 and 14 depending on how many children need support. Then:
      1. In the first text box, enter the child's name.
      2. In the second text box, enter the year, month, and day the child was born.

Party 1 and Party 2 have no children.

Include
Don't include

Party 1 and Party 2 have adult children, who are all independent and self-supporting.

Include
Don't include

Party 1 and Party 2 have the following children:

Include
Don't include

, born

Include
Don't include

, born

Include
Don't include

, born

Include
Don't include

, born

Include
Don't include

The following children are 19 or over but continue to require financial support because of:

Include
Don't include

, born

Include
Don't include

, born

Include
Don't include

Information about this agreement

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  1. Decide which paragraphs apply to your situation. Click Don't include for the paragraphs that don't apply.
  2. If you want to specify what the agreement addresses, include paragraph 15. Then include paragraphs 15 – 19 as necessary.
  3. If your agreement is an interim (temporary) agreement, include paragraph 21. Then include paragraph 22 and/or 23 as applicable.

This agreement addresses:

parenting

Include
Don't include

child support

Include
Don't include

spousal support

Include
Don't include

property

Include
Don't include

debts

Include
Don't include

This agreement is a final agreement.

Include
Don't include

This agreement is an interim agreement.

Party 1 and Party 2 intend this interim agreement to deal with the following issues until we make a final agreement:

Include
Don't include

guardianship, parenting arrangements, and support of the children

Include
Don't include

spousal support

Include
Don't include

Information about court proceedings

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If you have any other agreements or orders that related to your marriage and/or separation, you should refer to them.

  1. Decide which paragraphs apply to your situation. Click Don't include for the paragraphs that don't apply.
  2. For paragraph 25:
    1. In the first text box, enter the court registry where your family law case was commenced (Provincial or Supreme).
    2. In the second text box, enter the court location.
    3. In the third text box, enter the court file number.
  3. For paragraph 26:
    1. In the first text box, enter the court registry where your family law case was commenced.
    2. In the second text box, enter the court location.
    3. In the third text box, enter the court file number.
    4. In the fourth text box, enter whether the court made its orders after a hearing or by consent.
  4. For paragraph 27, in the text box, enter the order details.
  5. Decide which of paragraphs 28 and 29 apply to your situation. Then:
    1. Click Don't include for the paragraph that doesn't apply.
    2. In the text box of the included paragraph, enter the agreement date.

There have been no court proceedings related to our marriage/relationship.

Include
Don't include

A family law case was commenced in the Court registry in under court file .

Include
Don't include

A family law case was commenced in the Court registry in under court file and, , the court made the following orders:

Include
Don't include
Include
Don't include

An agreement dated has been made.

Include
Don't include

An agreement dated is superseded (made obsolete) by this one.

Include
Don't include

Uncontested or joint divorce

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  1. If you plan to apply for an uncontested (undefended) divorce:
    1. Include paragraph 30.
    2. Click the name of the party who will apply to the court for a divorce. The field will update with your names.
  2. If you plan to apply for a joint divorce, include paragraph 31.

Once this agreement is signed, Name will apply to the court for a divorce, and the only order Name will ask the court to make is a divorce order.

Party 1
Party 2
Include
Don't include

Once this agreement is signed, Name and Name will apply to the court for a joint divorce. The only order Name and Name will ask the court to make is a divorce order.

Include
Don't include

Terms of the agreement

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  1. Decide whether paragraph 32 or 33 applies to your situation. Click Don't include for the paragraph that doesn't apply.
  2. For paragraph 33, in the text box, enter the date you and the other party will start living apart.
  3. Review all of the information you've included throughout this section to make sure it's correct. Then:
    1. Click Open text version. A text copy of this section of the agreement will appear in a new browser window.
    2. Copy and paste the text into a word processor.
    3. Go through the section and number each paragraph/clause. Continue the numbering from where you left off with the previous section. Be sure to save your file.

We agree that:

  • the recitals form part of this agreement;
  • each party confirms that all statements of fact in this agreement that relate to their positions are true and accurate and each party understands that the other is relying on those statements of fact in making this agreement;
  • our relationship is over; and

We will continue to live separate and apart

Include
Don't include

We will start living separate and apart on

Include
Don't include