Richmond Family Lawyers Share Four Helpful Agreements to Protect Your Interests

It goes without saying that discussing legally binding contractual agreements with your partner can quickly dampen the romantic ambiance of a burgeoning dating or marital relationship. However, your Richmond family lawyers will explain that entering into any one of the arrangements listed below can undoubtedly help you and your partner avoid unnecessary friction or financial loss in the event of a divorce, break-up, or separation. The following four pre- and post-nuptial agreements have proven useful time and again as relationships evolve and change, and may be a wise option for you and your partner to protect against the collateral consequences of dissolution.

Cohabitation Agreement

Moving in together always sounds like a great idea at the outset, until a break-up or major disagreement derails the living arrangement. As your family lawyer will explain, the recently enacted Family Law Act actually applies to unmarried couples living as married for at least two years prior to break-up. In the absence of an agreement, ex-partners may be subject to the provisions of the Act, which includes direction for the division of property. For couples wishing to maintain control over this process, a cohabitation agreement can be a smart and savvy way to clearly identify separate property, as well as address any anticipated major issues if the relationship sours (e.g., which partner will maintain custody of the pet).

Pre-Nuptial Agreement

Pre-nuptial agreements are drafted to allow partners the opportunity to decide issues relating to marital property, spousal support and matters relating to children prior to entering into the marital relationship. In the face of marital hardship or breakdown, it can be very difficult for spouses to approach these issues in a clear and rational manner. Therefore, working with a Richmond family lawyer to clearly identify and outline both partners' wishes prior to marriage can help avoid significant turmoil for families in the future. The Family Law Act specifically exempts property obtained prior to the marriage and inheritances from division upon divorce. However, all other property obtained up to the date of separation may be subject to division – and a clearly drafted pre-nuptial agreement can help families avoid unexpected and unintended consequences. The agreement can also solidify a workable child custody and support arrangement ahead of time, providing children with predictable stability.

Separation Agreement

A separation agreement is a highly useful tool to help infuse organization and order into the otherwise chaotic experience of divorce. Similar to a pre-nuptial agreement, a separation agreement specifically outlines the duties, rights and obligations of both parties following separation. Further, a separation agreement will clearly identify the date of separation, which is extremely important when it comes time to value and divide marital property. Under the Family Law Act, any property obtained after the date of separation is considered the individual property of the owner and is generally not subject to division.

Marriage Agreement

A marriage agreement is useful for spouses who have already married to order their affairs and provide a thoughtful framework for their marriage. A properly drafted marriage agreement can outline the major issues facing the family, including management of property, management of the household and finances and raising the children. Marriage is a partnership and thinking through these issues before things go wrong sets a sound basis for the future.

Contact Our Experienced Divorce Professionals Today!

If you are interested in entering into an agreement with your partner, we encourage you to contact our Richmond family lawyers today for a consultation. Collaborative Divorce Network can be reached by calling 604-866-5949 or by sending us a message.

Questions about Collaborative Divorce?

Contact us today to schedule an appointment. We are easily reached by phone at 604-866-5949. You can also send us your questions via email, through our eform.

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