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How are separation agreements agreed upon?

In a divorce situation, there are a number of issues that must be worked out, including asset division, child custody and others. Child custody is often one of the most contentious of the issues represented in separation agreements, as some Alberta residents are already aware. However, there are a number of options available to a separating couple that can help them come to the most beneficial agreement for their children.

Some spouses determine the best way to sort out contentious disputes is to take the route of litigation or going directly to a court setting. In some cases, collaborative law is exercised, in which the spouses and their representation meet outside of court to discuss and resolve matters. The third option is mediation, in which the meeting includes a neutral third party whose job it is to help resolve couple’s issues with the assistance of each spouse’s representation.

In cases of litigation, the decision of the court is final and may not be to the liking of either spouse. In the other two cases, the agency of each spouse is more heavily weighted – while each spouse might not be perfectly happy with the outcome, they are in a better position to know what to expect. In any case, the goal is to craft separation agreements that include favourable provisions, especially in matters of child custody.

Divorce is a life-changing experience. Alberta residents facing divorce may seek out the support of professionals in crafting their separation agreements. The inclusion of these professionals can help to smooth the road for both spouses and their children towards happier lives in the future.

Source:, “Separated parent: Do I have to attend mediation with former spouse?”, Gary Direnfeld, July 4, 2016


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