Tips for making domestic contracts stronger

When it comes to preparing domestic contracts, such as marriage contracts and separation agreements, the last thing that anyone wants is for someone to find reasons to overturn the contract. There are things to be done to try and avoid having a contract overturned.

1. Financial Disclosure – In the case of domestic contracts, complete income information should be exchanged between the parties (at minimum, this includes three most recent Income Tax Returns and Notices of Assessment).

In the case of a separation agreement, both parties need to exchange details about all assets they owned and liabilities that they owed on date of marriage, date of separation and currently.

In the case of a marriage contract and since there has not yet been a separation, both parties need to exchange details about all assets they own and liabilities that they owe currently (and on date of marriage, if the parties are already married). Usually, this involves having both parties complete and swear a financial statement and to provide the supporting disclosure.

2. Independent Legal Advice – Each party should retain a different lawyer to provide independent legal advice on the contract. This means having the lawyer fully review the contract with you and ensuring that you understand all of the terms contained within the contract. Once complete, the lawyer will sign the contract stating that they did provide you with this advice.

3. Terms of the Contract – Both parties should take part in the drafting of the domestic contract. This means having input on the terms that are contained within the contract and requesting changes to any terms contained in the contract. This can be done by having the parties’ lawyers negotiate the terms through letters, a four-way meeting with both parties and their lawyers, during a mediation session, or by making changes to a draft contract being exchanged.

For more information on domestic contracts please contact the experienced family law lawyers at Krol & Krol by calling 905-707-3370.