Write your own separation agreement

Before you begin

This guide helps 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. We provide sample paragraphs (which are called clauses) that you can edit to suit your situation. You can also add your own clauses. Your agreement must fit your family's needs.

See Making an agreement after you separate and Who can help you reach an agreement? for more information on making 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 write agreements about parenting and support.

Other resources

Your agreement might need to include issues this guide doesn't cover. If you want to explore other issues and options, especially if your situation involves complicated division of property, you might 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, and you can use the print or electronic version at any courthouse library, for free. (You do not have to be a lawyer to use a courthouse library, and the knowledgable librarians can help you.) You can also buy a copy for $250. See Other issues covered in the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC at the end of this guide for more information.

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

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