What are the grounds for challenging a Separation Agreement?

January 18, 2017

Section 56 of the Family Law Act sets out the most common grounds relied upon to set aside a Separation Agreement, in whole or in part. The grounds are as follows:


  • A party to the Agreement fails to disclose a significant asset or debt in existence when the Agreement was formed.

  • A party failed to understand the nature and consequences of the Agreement.

  • Any other ground on which an ordinary Agreement may be attacked.


In Hartshorne v. Hartshorne, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that the unconscionability of an Agreement or term thereof can only be the basis of a successful attack if the deal is unfavourable to the challenging party and this result was caused by the other preying upon the weakness of the challenger.

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