If there is one thing that we can count on, it is that life and circumstances are always changing. And this means that sometimes an agreement that we made with someone also needs to be changed. When spouses or partners divorce or separate, they often draw up a separation agreement with their ex–partner with the help of a family lawyer. This agreement will outline a number of things such as division of assets, custody schedules (if there are children from the relationship), and child/ spousal support arrangements.
When family lawyers draw up these separation agreements, they do so realizing that the circumstances of the parties involved may change which may necessitate a need to change the separation agreement. This is why most of these agreements contain a clause which says that if the parties want to make a change in the agreement they must attempt to do so in mediation before filing a claim with the court. If you are considering making a change to your separation agreement, check the exact language to see if your agreement has such as clause.
When should you consider making a change to your separation agreement?
There are a number of circumstances under which you might want to make a change to your separation agreement. Here are a few examples.
The original separation agreement was bad or unfair
This may happen if you were not represented by an experienced family lawyer when you first went through your separation (especially if your ex was represented by a lawyer). When you signed the agreement, you may not have been aware of your legal rights, or you may have been too emotionally vulnerable to make a good decision. If this is the case, it is important that you consult with a good family lawyer and review the agreement and discuss the circumstances under which it was signed. Your lawyer may be able to help you make changes that are in your interests.
Your financial situation has changed (or your ex’s has.)
If you are paying spousal support, a sudden change to your income – like a job loss – may make it difficult for you to pay. Likewise, if your spouse has remarried, they may no longer need your support. If there are children from the relationship, both parties will always have the responsibility to support them however arrangements in spousal payments can change.
Even if your circumstances change, it is important that you do not just stop paying. You need to ensure that your agreement is changed legally.
You are seeking changes to your custody arrangement.
Maybe your work schedule has changed, or maybe you have been offered a promotion that is in a different city. There are various reasons why a parent might seek changes to their custody schedule. As much as possible, parent should try to negotiate changes that are in the best interests of the children. If the matter does go to court, a judge will make a determination as to what arrangement is in the best interests of the children.
Making changes to your separation agreement.
Making changes to your separation agreement is possible and should be done when necessary, but there are a few things to keep in mind. For starters, you should always do this with the assistance of a family lawyer who will protect your rights and help ensure you understand the new terms. Secondly, you should ensure the new agreement is submitted to the court so that they are aware of the changes.
Contact Minhas Lawyers today
If you are seeking a change to your separation agreement, we can help. Contact us today to book a consultation to speak to a family lawyer.
Minhas Lawyers LLP is a multi-practice law firm based in Mississauga. We advise and represent clients across various segments and practice areas.
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