When a couple separate, they are encouraged to execute a Separation Agreement. A Separation Agreement is a domestic contract. The purpose of a Separation Agreement is to document the terms of the parties settlement so that they may be enforced by the court, and so that the parties may move on with their lives.
If the parties cannot reach an agreement, and choose instead to litigate their issues in dispute; the court will make the final decision, and issue a binding order, the terms of which, may not be satisfactory to either party. In most instances, the parties will obtain the best result for themselves and for their children if they mediate the issues in dispute and then execute a comprehensive Separation Agreement which they develop themselves.
A Separation Agreement must be signed by both parties and witnessed by an adult in order for it to be enforced by the court. Before signing a Separation Agreement the parties are advised to obtain independent legal advice. Mr. Gilpin is available to meet with one of the parties to provide them with independent legal advice before they execute a Separation Agreement.
The terms of a Separation Agreement are arrived at after negotiations between the parties. The court will not dictate the terms of a Separation Agreement, but the terms of a Separation Agreement can be incorporated into a court order with the consent of the parties. Thereafter, the terms of the agreement will be enforced as if they were ordered by the court.
Mr. Gilpin recommends that the parties complete Mediation so that they may execute a comprehensive Agreement to resolve the issues in dispute, and thereby avoid the expense and emotional ordeal associated with the traditional mode of litigation.