Whether you need a cohabitation agreement, a marriage agreement (also known as a pre-nuptial or “pre-nup” agreement) to protect your assets, or a separation agreement to formalize your settlement, I will help you negotiate a family law agreement that is favourable to you.
Sometimes people draft their own family law agreements to save money and do not consult a family law lawyer. This often causes problems years later because the parties were not aware of their legal rights and obligations at the time they entered into the family law agreement. The process of setting aside a family law agreement once it is reached is expensive, time-consuming, and not guaranteed. Make sure you protect yourself and consult with a family law lawyer to draft and advise you on your family law agreement.
Frequently Asked Questions
• When spouses separate, they will eventually reach a “deal” on how legal issues (such as parenting arrangements, child and spousal support and property and debt division) will be resolved. If a deal is reached, it is advisable that the parties document it in a detailed written separation agreement.
• Separation agreements are important because if there is a dispute in the future, the likelihood of the dispute going to court will be reduced if the spouses have had legal advice and have a written separation agreement they can rely on.
• It is important to have a family law lawyer draft the separation agreement and provide you with independent legal advice or you risk entering into a “bad deal.”
Starting a new relationship or getting married is a time for celebration, but you need to look after your best interests as well.
• Marriage/cohabitation agreements (also known as a pre-nuptial agreement or a “pre-nup”) are contracts in which a couple agrees to a regime for sharing/dividing property and debt (and in certain cases, spousal support) in the event their relationship ends. The goal of these agreements is to avoid conflict and litigation at the end of the relationship because the couple disagrees on how their finances should be managed.
• Even though we have legislation (i.e., the Family Law Act) that describes how family property and debt will be divided at the end of a relationship, many issues still arise if specific events, outcomes and issues are not contemplated and addressed beforehand. Further, it is possible that at some point our legislation will change, and couples may want to have certainty in case this occurs.
• It is important to note that even if couples are not married, those who have lived together in a “marriage-like” relationship for two years or more have the same property rights as married couples. Therefore, if your relationship has passed or is nearing the two-year mark and you are not married, you should contact a family law lawyer to see how you can protect yourself financially in the event your relationship ends.
Marriage and cohabitation agreements are recommended in the following situations:
- 1. One or both spouses own substantial excluded property going into the relationship or marriage and the couple wishes to keep it separate. This is especially the case where the couple plans on purchasing real estate or other assets jointly, but want to make sure they get to keep their excluded property.
- 2. One or both spouses expects to acquire substantial excluded property during the relationship or marriage (such as inheritances, gifts from a third parties, trust distributions, court awards, and insurance settlements) and they want to make sure the excluded property will remain theirs.
- 3. One or both spouses expects to incur significant debt during the relationship or marriage and the other person does not wish to be responsible.
- 4. The parties are in middle age and wish to retain and gift their property to their children of a previous relationship.
Family law agreement guidance
My goal is to determine the solution that is best for you and your family. I will advise you on your rights and obligations and equip you with the information you need to make informed decisions. I am accessible, which means I am available to answer your questions and respond promptly to your emails and phone calls. Contact me today to discuss your situation and how your interests can be protected with a family law agreement.