Negotiation of a fair and reasonable family law agreement involves good faith, cooperation and compromise. I am a skilled and persuasive negotiator, and I have drafted hundreds of Marriage Contracts, Cohabitation Agreements, and Separation Agreements.
It is very important to know and understand that two people who move into together (in, what is referred to as a “conjugal relationship”) may acquire rights and obligations shortly into their cohabitation. A specific, comprehensive Cohabitation Agreement can address any potential issues, protect both parties, and provide a roadmap for dealing with any of the issues if their cohabitation does not succeed.
Marriage is an automatic trigger to family law rights and obligations upon separation. Here are some recent statistics: There are approximately 75,000 divorces in Canada each year. The percentage of marriages in a given year that will end in divorce before their 30th wedding anniversary was 40.7 per cent. The divorce rate for first marriages is lower than the divorce rate for all marriages, and first marriages have a 67 per cent chance of lasting a lifetime. 20 per cent of all divorces in Canada are a repeat divorce for at least one of the spouses and 42 per cent of all divorces finalized over the last few years were from marriages that lasted nine years or less. Finally, the median age of men divorcing was 44 years old, while the median age of women was 41 years old. It is an unfortunate reality that many marriages end in a separation. A properly negotiated and drafted Marriage Contract can address the financial issues that arise at separation.
A Separation Agreement is a private contract between separated or divorced spouses, resolving issues of parenting and/or the financial issues of child support, spousal support and division of property. An essential ingredient in the negotiation of a Separation Agreement, is full and frank disclosure of one’s income, property and debts. The negotiations themselves can take several forms; lawyer to lawyer, spouse to spouse, four way meetings, or any combination thereof. Most separating spouses address the issues arising from their marriage breakdown by way of a Separation Agreement.