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Can You Force Your Spouse If He/She Refuses To Sign The Separation Agreement?

Can you force your spouse if he/she refuses to sign the separation agreement?

Often, one’s spouse intentionally fails to acknowledge the reality of filing a divorce application and the issues involving it. For example, the other party may deny signing the separation agreement. In such scenarios, a Family Lawyer can help an individual file for a divorce. 

Why Are Separation Agreements Crucial? 

Separation agreements can be effective in terms of settling disputes that may come up when the spouses are planning to part ways. The bottom line of a separation agreement is to ensure that the issues at the time of separation have already been negotiated beforehand. This helps to map out the roles and responsibilities of spouses, specifically regarding property division, decision-making responsibility and childcare.

Preparing a separation agreement is not mandatory according to Canadian Law; however, a well-drafted separation agreement has legal enforceability and can significantly make the divorce process easier without dragging the spouses’ time and energy.

One of the most common questions that divorce lawyers get is, “My spouse is not signing the separation agreement. What’s next?” One cannot force their spouse to get the separation agreement signed. However, there are legal options to proceed with the separation agreement if one’s partner is not complying.

Before digging into the question of “Can force your spouse to sign the separation agreement,” it is always a wise choice to avoid exhibiting any signs of force, duress, emotional threats, or any illegal attempt that compels your spouse to sign the separation agreement.

Just like any other contract made in civil law, a separation agreement is a contract made between marital partners in a family law framework. That being the case, certain particularities of contract law will be applicable to a separation agreement.

Steps To Be Taken If Your Spouse Denies Signing The Separation Agreement

If one party is against the separation agreement, then bear in mind that the divorce process is no more amicable and is classified as a contested divorce. A divorce lawyer can assist you in acquiring orders for the enforcement of the separation agreement on the opposing spouse. The following essential steps need to be taken.

  • A notice or a demand letter can be sent to the spouse, which must spell out the consequences that he/she will face in the event of not signing the agreement.
  • An affidavit of service must be accompanied for reasons of clarity as it proves that the counterparty has received the letter/notice.
  • Set out a timeframe for the spouse to answer the legal notice.
  • Always be mindful that the separation agreement must be established with mutual understanding of both spouses, and make sure to include all essentials in the agreement beforehand that you intend to resolve.
  • If the opposing spouse is still unresponsive and does not comply with your legal notice, then you may proceed by way of a legal battle in court.

Get In Touch With Us!

Disagreements relating to separation agreements are quite common; however, legal remedies are available to keep both spouses on an equal footing. It is, therefore, advised to engage the services of an experienced family lawyer who can address important considerations like child access and spousal support over the course of a divorce.

Disclaimer: Kindly note that sending or receiving information through this site does not establish a solicitor-client relationship. Legal matters are fact-specific, and the law is variably changing. The views expressed and the content provided on this blog are general guidelines and cannot substitute for proper legal advice. Schedule your legal consultation by clicking here: Let’s meet!

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