Ways to Amend a Separation Agreement

June 15, 2021

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A separation agreement is a legally binding document between parties in a marital relationship. The document aims to clarify the division of assets, debts, and marital responsibilities between the spouses. 

It is commonly executed in times when you are headed for a divorce. However, sometimes separation agreements don’t serve the needs of one or both parties. 

In several scenarios, the separation agreement can be amended in more than one way. 

So, scroll down and have a look:-

#1 Change by Mutual Agreement

A separation agreement is a private legal agreement between two spouses. Therefore, it can be amended by the mutual consent of two spouses. Ideally, this involves the assistant of a qualified family attorney who will ensure that the desired changes are comprehensively included & accurate. 

Both the parties need to sit down and discuss each point in the separation agreement. And, if everything is agreed upon, both the parties need to sign it with the proper date. Only under mutual agreement, the amendment will be implemented. 

The separation agreement generally has a clause for future tweaks. For instance, the agreement says the modifications can be done only if:-

  • Made in writing.
  • Signed by both spouses.
  • A witness is required. 

Do I Need to File the New Agreement to the Court?

If your original separation agreement was earlier filled with the supreme or provincial court, you must file the updated agreement to the same court. If your separation agreement wasn’t filed at the court, then no need to do so after the amendment. But if you want to enforce the changes, you have the choice of filling the new document to the court.  

See also  Benefits of Negotiating a Separation Agreement

#2 You Two Need Mediation

If both parties cannot agree on two points in the separation agreement, they can consider reaching out to a trained & experienced mediator. The mediator will ease the amendment process. They’ll give valuable advice to both parties without bias. 

A mediator has a vast knowledge of state family laws and assists on how to go about negotiation. 

In a conflict scenario, they mediate the things between both parties while ensuring mutual benefits for both. The mediator will also verify the change in the separation agreement. 

#3 Arbitration is A Good Option

If the amendments aren’t working out between the spouses, even with the help of a mediator, the next option could implement the changes based on the advice of an arbitrator. The process is quite similar to going to court while being less formal. 

The third-party arbitrator will listen to both the parties, their needs, and expectations. 

Based on proper analyses of the case, they’ll help you resolve your issues by bringing both parties together. 

#4 Heading to the Court

The final option to amend the separation agreement is through the court. Opt for this only when none of the above options are feasible, and the court can decide the matter. The court process involves:

  • Filling a form from each party.
  • Submitting it to the court.
  • Attending court hearings.

The judge would require both parties to provide valid reasons for the modification of the separation agreement. 

One thing to note here is that the courts are not reluctant to allow changes in separation documents. Sometimes the outcome may not be in favour of the party filing the case. Further, this method is time-consuming and costly compared to other choices, so be careful to go ahead with moving to the court. You can always speak to your family law attorney to guide you whether going to the court for amendment in the separation agreement is worth it, and what are the odds of approval? After weighing approval and rejection odds, make a well-informed decision. 

See also  We're Not Married. What Happens To Our Property & Debts If We Separate?

Don’t forget to obtain the amended copy of the agreement from the court. The court doesn’t automatically generate the separation agreement. You’ll have to submit a written document, and you have to pay a processing fee for the same. Visit the official site of your local court to know how to request it. 

Let’s Wind Up

Finally, if you need more information on how to amend the separation agreement, it is highly advised to consult a family law attorney. They’re well-versed with state rules & regulations to assist you the best to stay clear of hassles when formulating the separation agreement or if you want to tweak the document. Don’t make the mistake of dealing with the amendment of the separation agreement on your own; trust the experts.