What happens if a spouse refuses to sign separation agreement?
One of the most common questions we get is “What happens if a spouse refuses to sign separation agreement in Ontario?
As per the Laws in Ontario, Canada parties are not obligated to enter into a Separation Agreement. In essences it is a written Contract made between two parties under Family Laws. Therefore, basic principles of Contract Law would also apply to a Separation Agreement.
It is a time when emotions run high between parties and they are generally upset, confused, have hurtful feelings, remembering broken promises, thinking of being victimized during the course of a relationship.
Calm, composed & objective approach to problem could help parties manage the situation but it is not always the case. Since there is no law forcing a party to sign a separation agreement either party can refuse to sign the Separation Agreement. This can become frustrating especially if one party has hired a Family Lawyer to draft the Agreement.
Before we jump to the discuss “What happens if spouse refuses to sign separation agreement”. We would like to give a word of warning that neither parties should force the other to sign the agreement since any form of coercion, duress, manipulation, emotional threats or to encourage to waive independent Legal Advice from separate lawyer or physical abuse or unreasonable attempts to persuade a spouse to sign a separation agreement can result in having the Separation Agreement unenforceable.
If your spouse refuses to sign a Separation Agreement then you should take the following steps.
- Send a Legal Notice though your lawyer with your offer to settle the matter by way of a Separation Agreement.
- Set Strict time Line for the other party to respond to the Legal Notice.
- List the items you wish to resolve by way of a Separation Agreement.
- If the other party is not co-operating then file your Application in Court.