Only a small percentage of family law disputes are resolved by trial. Most parties are able to resolve their issues by agreement, either through negotiation, mediation or collaborative practice. It is important that your Agreement be comprehensive, clearly written and that it will stand the test of time. We have expertise in preparing agreements that are thorough and clearly reflect the wishes of their clients. Agreements are used to resolve matters in many situations that broadly fall into two categories:
Separating parties, whether married or unmarried, can resolve some or all of their issues by agreement. Agreements can be complete and comprehensive, resolving all the issues in dispute or they may be agreements that resolve only one or two of the issues that the parties have. Agreements can be temporary (or interim) or they can be permanent. Some types of agreements include:
- Parenting Agreements: Where there are children involved, a Parenting Agreement can assist parties in moving forward in a cooperative way that minimizes the impact of the separation on the children.
- Support Agreements: Support agreements can resolve disputes about child or spousal support and extra costs for the children (such as childcare costs, medical dental coverage, extracurricular activities, post secondary education).
- Property Agreements: Agreements made between spouses or unmarried couples to resolve how their property will be divided. Where parties are married, the Matrimonial Property Act must be complied with in order to have a binding Agreement.
- Separation Agreement: A Separation Agreement resolves some or all of the issues in dispute for unmarried couples or for married couples who wish to resolve their property and other issues but may not be wishing to proceed to divorce at this time.
- Minutes of Settlement or Divorce and Property Contract: These Agreements are generally complete agreements resolving all of a divorcing couples’ issues.
Parties who wish to live with each other often wish to clarify in a formal, legally binding Agreement, their expectations regarding their finances and property during their relationship and what will happen should the parties separate or should a party die. There are several types of agreements:
- Cohabitation Agreements: Agreements made between two parties who intend to live together in a committed relationship.
- Prenuptial Agreements: Agreements made by a husband and wife in anticipation of their marriage.
- Postnuptial Agreement: Agreements made by a husband and wife after the date of marriage.
- Adult Interdependent Relationship Agreements: Agreements made between unmarried parties who are residing together in a relationship of economic and emotional interdependence.