Many people ask, “Why do I have to pay somebody to draft a Separation Agreement?” “Why should I pay a lawyer all kinds of money when I think we’ve agreed to all issues? It looks pretty simple to me.”
Okay, when you are separating you will have to figure out how to divide up all the property you have worked for and decide who takes over what debts. If you have children, you have to figure out what the parenting schedule will be. You also have to figure child and spousal support – who pays and how much?
There are inevitably a lot of issues in play and numerous decisions to be made. The decisions you and your soon to be former spouse make will impact your lives and the lives of your children for years to come.
Think of it like a Rubik’s cube. All of the issues are inter-related. When you make a decision on one issue you have to look ahead to consider how it impacts the other aspects of your life.
For example, when you divide your property you will know how much money you will end up. You need to know how much money you will have before you can decide where you are going to live. Before you can decide where you will buy a house, you need to agree what school you want the children to attend. Before you decide that, you need to know what the parenting schedule will be.
You can see how all of the issues are inter-related. The Separation Agreement has to be a comprehensive plan. The end game is to have a well thought out plan that clearly sets out the rights and responsibilities for each spouse.
This is just not a DIY! Considering everything that is at stake, please get a professional to do it, then you both can move forward with your new lives without conflict and chaos.