Are you currently separating from your partner, or entering in to a new relationship or marriage? Before you sign any agreement, it’s in your best interest to receive independent legal advice (or ILA). ILA is the advice your lawyer gives you about your rights and obligations and the implications of signing an agreement. We always ask for the other party to obtain ILA. This ensures that they fully understand the terms of the agreement before they sign it. It also makes it more likely that the court will enforce the agreement should there be a breach of it in the future. If you have a prepared agreement, you may need to take it to a lawyer for ILA. We now offer two new services based on what your needs may be. The two possible options are described below:
Option One – High-level One-Hour Consultation Without Independent Legal Advice
If you want to have a high-level conversation about your rights and obligations, this is the option for you. We will not review your agreement in advance of the meeting. We also won’t have the time to do so during the meeting, due to the one-hour time limit. Additionally, we cannot sign the certificate of ILA without fully analyzing your agreement and that takes time. At the end of the consultation, we will give you advice as to our next steps forward. Option One is for you if you are interested in consulting with a lawyer but are not ready to sign your agreement. Leaving this consultation, you will better understand the process and the range of outcomes at law. You will know what you should do next to finalize your agreement.
The cost of Option One is $295.00 including HST.
Option Two – Advance Document Review and Advice on Agreement
If you have an agreement that was drafted by another lawyer and wish us to review it, we will have you enter into a limited scope retainer, that will include your lawyer’s review of the agreement, in advance of meeting with you, followed by a one-hour meeting with you. During your one-hour meeting, your lawyer will explain the strengths and weaknesses of the agreement. They will go over your rights and obligations and will recommend whether you should sign it or not. If the agreement is not reasonable, your lawyer will not sign the certificate of ILA, even if you ask them to do so. However, if the agreement is within the normal range of settlement and reasonably reflects the law, then your lawyer will sign the certificate of ILA, providing you are agreeable to its terms.
If your lawyer does not feel the agreement is reasonable, or if your lawyer believes there are significant issues with the agreement, they will provide you with a list of recommended next steps. Once receiving these next steps, you can either enter into a further retainer with your lawyer to assist you through the process or continue negotiations on your own.
Option Two is for you if you feel you have an acceptable agreement and you are ready to finalize it.
To move forward with Option Two, you can simply contact our Intake Team, who will gladly work with you to complete the limited scope retainer, obtain a copy of your agreement and schedule the one-hour meeting with your lawyer approximately 10 days thereafter.