While these are very different processes, they tend to cover similar issues. Both are products of provincial and federal legislation, case law and careful negotiation.
The term “Domestic Contract” describes marriage contracts, cohabitation agreements and “pre-nups”. If you are about to get married or you are planning to live together, and you would like to know that you will retain ownership of the property you own now in the event the relationship ends, then you need a domestic contract. If you or your prospective partner has children, and you want to ensure that the non-parent will not be held responsible for child support in the event the relationship ends, you should have a domestic contract. These and other similar issues will require a domestic contract.
It is important to prepare for the unexpected. Good legal advice and a well-drafted agreement can provide you with the security that whatever happens, you will not lose control of those things you have worked hard to attain.
The end of a marriage or common-law relationship is a stressful, emotional time. However, this is the same time in which many important decisions must be made. Where will the children live and how much time will you have with them? How will the marital assets be divided? What kind of financial support are you entitled to or will you be obligated to pay?
It is vitally important that you receive guidance and advice from a lawyer who recognizes the long-term relevance of each of these decisions, and will ensure you understand all of your options.
The first decision to be made is the process you will use to negotiate your settlement agreement. Collaborative Law allows you to identify and negotiate all issues directly with your partner, but with each of your lawyers present at all negotiation meetings. Mediation also allows you and your partner to negotiate directly, with a mediator as a negotiation facilitator and guide. Lawyers are not usually present.
I will represent you in the collaborative process, or act as a mediator for you and your partner. Or I can provide you with legal advice while you are going through the mediation process with another mediator. If you feel neither of these processes is the right one for you, I will negotiate your settlement with your partner’s lawyer on your behalf.