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Protect you and your relationship, now and in the future.

It can be a difficult and delicate process to think about the potential of a relationship ending and discussing such personal matters. Our experienced and compassionate family lawyers can work with you to draft, review, and negotiate a family law agreement that reflects your relationship wishes and protects your rights and interests.

Our Family Law Legal Services

At Navigator Law, our experienced family lawyers can help with any family law matter, including divorce, separation, or adult guardianship. No matter what stage you are at in your relationship, we can help you and your partner draft up an effective family law agreement that works for you.

What Are Family Law Agreements?

Family law agreements, which are sometimes referred to as domestic agreements, are legally binding contracts that can address a wide range of situations before and during a relationship and after a relationship has ended.

A family law agreement is designed to provide assurance and help protect the parties in the relationship from beginning to end. These agreements describe the rights and responsibilities of each partner and describe what will happen with assets, responsibilities, and children under different circumstances.

If you don’t have a family law agreement in place, the default legal rights and obligations are applied in your case, which might not be in your best interest or align with your wishes.

Every relationship is unique, and so is each family law agreement.

Types of Family Law Agreements

Each type of family law agreement has a different purpose. We’ll make sure you fully understand your options, rights, and obligations when drafting an agreement.

Cohabitation Agreements

Cohabitation agreements are designed for people who are or who want to live together but have no immediate plans to get married, such as common-law partners. It is similar to a prenuptial agreement, but for people who wish to remain unmarried. This type of agreement describes the roles, rights, and responsibilities of each party, and how assets are distributed if your relationship ends, your partner dies, or you no longer want to live together.

The agreement may include:

  • Who is responsible for paying expenses
  • How assets you bring into the relationship are divided if the relationship ends
  • Whether any assets are excluded from division
  • Division of property you have purchased together
  • How debts are divided if the relationship ends
  • Who is entitled to live in the home if the relationship ends
  • The role of step-parents if any of the spouses have children when entering the marriage
  • Child custody and support in regards to children from a previous relationship
  • Who makes moral and/or educational decisions regarding children
  • Payment of child support and spousal support
  • Child custody arrangements

The agreement can also include any other family matters that the couple wishes to include.

Post-Nuptial Agreements

A postnuptial agreement is very similar to a prenuptial agreement. This type of agreement is for couples who want to formally set out the terms of their relationship after marriage. A postnuptial agreement typically includes many of the same items as a prenuptial agreement, including what happens if the marriage ends.

Separation Agreements

A separation agreement is made after a marriage ends and deals with issues around resolving the relationship. The benefit of a separation agreement is that it typically makes the divorce process smoother, faster, and less expensive.

A separation agreement could include the following:

  • Division of assets (matrimonial property), including the home
  • Division of matrimonial debt
  • Division of pensions and other retirement income
  • Payment of spousal support
  • Custody of children
  • Who the children will live with and who will have access
  • Child support

Benefits of Family Law Agreements

Any well-drafted family law agreement is a legally binding contract between two spouses or partners. Taking the time to put such an agreement in place should provide confidence that the couple has prevented much of the potential conflicts that can occur during the difficult times when a relationship ends.

Peace of Mind

Family law agreements is a law to ensure the interests of both parties are protected in a relationship. Going through the process of drafting a family law agreement helps manage the relationship expectations and provides certainty to each partner about what will happen in different situations.

Prevents Disputes

Agreeing to certain terms of a relationship while there are no ongoing conflicts can make ending the relationship a much smoother process and can prevent conflicts from arising in the future.

Fair Access to Assets

The more assets are involved in a relationship, the more important a family law agreement such as a marriage contract/prenuptial agreement is. Having a comprehensive agreement in place can prevent disputes over assets, and ensure a fair allocation of the assets each partner brought into the relationship. Finally, the agreement can set aside assets to children from previous relationships.

Reduces Legal Costs of Separating

Family law agreements can also make the process of separating or ending a relationship much easier and less expensive. These agreements will prevent most legal battles, and separation agreements can even be used as a basis for a divorce order, the family law court order that finalizes a divorce.

Family Law Agreement Dispute Resolution

Even with the best of planning in place, sometimes disputes can occur. Whether you are faced with a child custody issue, property division issue, or any other family law issue, we can help!

Our law firm also offers to represent clients who wish to challenge or enforce a family law agreement. We will provide you with the best possible legal advice to resolve the disputes as quickly, smoothly, and cost-effective as possible in a way that minimizes the negative impact on your life.

Our law office has extensive experience with resolving family law legal issues via alternative methods such as negotiation or alternative dispute resolution. Our knowledgeable family lawyers will fight for your rights at every step of the way, including going to court, if necessary.

Contact Us

Are you interested in drafting a family law agreement, or do you need help reviewing or negotiating an agreement? Contact our office today to book an initial consultation with our knowledgeable Calgary lawyers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make changes to a family law agreement?

Family law agreements may need to change, as your life circumstances and relationship changes. You can make changes or updates to the agreement as long as both parties in the relationship agree on the changes.

If we have a cohabitation agreement in place, is it still valid if we get married?

Yes, a cohabitation agreement can turn into a marriage contract and continue to be valid if a couple marries.

If we are already married, can we still draft a prenuptial agreement?

If you are already married, you should draft a postnuptial agreement instead.