Divorce & separation

How to write your own separation agreement

Before you begin

This guide will help you draft a legally binding separation agreement if you're going through a separation and/or divorce. It covers:

  • parenting,
  • child support,
  • spousal support,
  • property, and
  • debt.

Every family's situation is different. The sample paragraphs (sometimes called clauses) we provide are just examples. You may find that they fit your situation perfectly. Or you may need to change them to work for you. That's okay. Your agreement must be written to fit your family's needs.

Tip: For more information on making an agreement, see our fact sheet Making an agreement after you separate. For information on who can help you reach an agreement, see our fact sheet Who can help you reach an agreement?.

Get legal help

It's a good idea to get legal help before you write your agreement, and before you sign it. A family law lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and responsibilities before you make your agreement final. See also the fact sheet What is independent legal advice?

If you can't afford a lawyer, family justice counsellors can draft agreements about parenting and support.

Other resources

This guide doesn't cover every possible issue that you may need to include in your separation agreement. There may be other issues your agreement should cover. Or you may want to consider other options than what's in this guide. If you want to explore other issues and options, especially if your situation involves complicated property division, you may want to use the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC (CLEBC) Family Law Agreements: Annotated Precedents. This online resource includes many more options for clauses and topics. It costs $250.

Tip: You may also find Clicklaw's wikibook on Separation Agreements helpful. This wikibook is a chapter of the JP Boyd on Family Law wikibook.