Separation is difficult: emotionally and spiritually. The breaking of the relation between two people is never easy. But the process of separation doesn't have to be complicated.
Usually, the separation agreement is made with both the partner's points of view. But sometimes, one partner may not agree with the understanding and jeopardize the smooth proceeding. In such cases, how to enforce a separation agreement?
We tell you how. Please stick with us till the end and find out.
What Is A Separation Agreement
A separation agreement is a contract between two spouses who have decided not to stay together. This agreement has all the contents that both the spouse agrees on. The contents can be about child custody, living arrangements, visitation rights, etc.
This agreement can have property regulation, too, if the spouses want.
You can take help from a lawyer to make an agreement, but the final call will be the spouse's. Also, you can take this separation agreement to court, but the court will respect the partner's wish.
How to Enforce a Separation Agreement
If one of the spouses is not complying with the agreement, you can take some steps to enforce the agreement. The first step will be to involve the court. The court will help you with child custody and support.
Remember, the court will never approve any agreement containing contents that are harmful to the children or any of the spouses.
But this involvement of the court will enforce the agreement much stronger. However, it will take time longer than a mutual separation. Not to mention the money you need to pay for lawyers and case fees.
Also, court cases are very exhausting. You don't want to add extra stress along with the trauma you are already going through. That is why it is always recommended to try to make an agreement mutually. The court intervention should be the last step.
What Happens When You Try To Enforce A Separation Agreement
Before going to court, the separation agreement is just a simple contract between two spouses. But when you go to court to enforce the agreement, it becomes a court case.
In such cases, one party tries to prove that the other party has breached the contract. And hence, he/she can sue the other party for breaking the contract. They can ask for money, benefits, or other settlements. That means the agreement is now a court case, and the court can take it to trial. And if it is a part of the court case, you have no way other than to participate.
Also, sometimes, people wonder what happens when one spouse died in this process. Does the agreement end? No, it does not.
If one spouse dies during this process, the court will decide what to do. The first thing is to find if there is anything written on the agreement in this regard. If no, the court will determine what is best for both parties, keeping in mind the dead partner's wish.
What Are The Other Ways To Enforce The Separation Agreement
Like I said before, the intervention of the court should be the last step. If the spouses are not on the same page, there are several things they can do to initiate a mutual separation.
Take time and discuss the points. Negotiate the points. With time, the value of contents may change, and so is the mindset of both parties. So, discuss the future changes that can make both of them agree.
Find out why the other party is not following the agreement. Talk to a family lawyer and reevaluate the contents of the agreement. For example, the agreement can be unfair to the other party.
If it is possible, with the help of lawyers, communicate with your spouse directly. Sometimes, face-to-face discussion can solve many problems. Both try to compromise your position. Meet them halfway. Remember, when this situation is in court, there is no guarantee that it will go in your favour.
If the issue is about child custody and support, take help from Family Maintenance Enforcement Program.
If the issue is not very serious, take help from a mediator. For example, for a separation agreement Manitoba has mediator services that help couples make a mutual outcome.
How to enforce a separation agreement? There is no easy way. But there are ways that can help you enforce the process. Court intervention is one of them. But like we said before, it is always a better idea to resolve the problem mutually. Because who knows our situation better than us?
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