Jen and Chris were about to get married but decided that before they were to wed, to appease their families, they would enter into a domestic agreement, often referred to as a cohabitation agreement or prenuptial agreement. Jen and Chris were both university students and felt they didn’t need to get anyone else involved so they drafted their agreement themselves, without any legal advice. Years later, the marriage fell apart and the two began to disagree over what was in their agreement. Ultimately, a Court ruled that their agreement was unfair and the whole process turned out to be more expensive in the end for them.
This story happens to many couples; they think they can figure out and draft these agreements on their own. While there is nothing wrong with such thoughts, the risk can be great. Since most people don’t have legal expertise, such agreements can and often do end up costing more than initial advice would have once they enter the Court process. Family law agreements can include cohabitation agreements, prenuptial agreements and separation agreements.
The need for independent legal advice is critical, and such advice is a formal requirement if you are dividing property. While courts will take into account written agreements without legal advice, they might ignore the written agreement if they feel it is not properly written, unfair or becomes unfair.
We can help protect you and mitigate the potential risks when entering into a domestic agreement. For legal advice on family law agreements, please consult one of our knowledgeable lawyers.