You are separated when you are not living together and it is not likely that you will live together again. Usually you will need to decide who will stay in the family home, who will take care of the children, who will pay family debts, how much support will be paid, and how will property be divided?
You can resolve things in different ways.
Unless the circumstances of your separation make it unsafe to negotiate, it is better if the two of you can agree on how to settle the issues between you through negotiation, mediation or collaborative family law. Court proceedings can be very expensive and take a long time.
Signing a separation agreement is a very important step. Your decisions now can affect you and your children for the rest of your lives. If in the future, one of you decides you don’t like the agreement, you can try to negotiate a new agreement. If you cannot agree you have to go to court and ask a judge to change it. A separation agreement is a contract that you must honour.
The law leaves the decision about settling your family law issues to you. You may have a hard time proving that you and your spouse had promised to settle things a certain way if you do not have a written and signed separation agreement.
A lawyer or mediator can help you decide what would be best for you and ensure the agreement is legally binding.