Independent Legal Advice
Independent Legal Advice is important when you are going throuh a family law matter. With independent legal advice, you can ensure that you are negotiating from a position of knowledge, not ignorance.
If you are considering litigation, independent legal advice helps you understand if your expectations, are within the range of possible legal outcomes.
In Family Law matters, there are very few absolutes. Matters are decided on a case by case basis, and judges have a lot of discretion however, given our extensive experience, we are able to tell you what the likely outcomes and counter arguments to your position could be.
Independent legal advice is very important for domestic contracts. It is one of the primary reasons separation agreements, cohabitation agreements and marriage contracts/ prenup agreements get set aside. We cannot overstate the importance of independent legal advice for both parties.
If you are the party with the larger portion of the family property, how would you know that you are not overpaying without independent legal advice? Many people think they simply have to divide all of their assets equally but that is half the picture. Without independent legal advice, you miss out on all the deductions you are legally entitled to.
The same can apply to support payments for example. While child support payments may appear very straightforward, there are deductions that can be taken from income, to ensure that you are not overpaying after all, as a payor, you need to survive as well.
On the flip side, if you are the party entitled to equalization, you most certainly need independent legal advice to ensure you are getting a fair deal. If you are the support recipient, you want to ensure that your support payment is the correct amount payable.
Even parents can benefit significantly from getting independent legal advice while negotiating or prior to signing a separation agreement. For example, many parents forget the correlation between parenting and spousal support. Most understand that they may have to pay child support but do not appreciate the entitlement it could create to spousal support. Another common misconception is people believing that if they are in a shared parenting arrangement, that child support is not payable.
We can go on and on with more examples, but we believe you understand that Independent Legal advice is incredibly important.
Getting independent legal advice does not equate to changing your mind regarding a deal or becoming litigious. The matter does not have to be any less amicable. It simply means that both parties enter into their agreement, informed. It serves both parties as neither can then claim they did not understand the nature of what was agreed to or that they did not understand their rights and obligations. If there’s a power imbalance for any reason, having independent legal advice can help level the playing field.
We recognize that a fair deal means different things to different people and that the best deal is not always exactly to the letter of the law. We know there are many factors that inform a decision and we respect that. Our role is only to help you better understand the law and the effect of your decision. We respect any informed decision our client makes.
There really is no reason or justification for entering into an Agreement, going to court or even engaging in negotiations, without independent legal advice. The cost is usually minimal, but the benefits are enormous. Contact AP Lawyers today to schedule your appointment for Independent Legal Advice.
Independent Legal Advice Process at AP Lawyers
- 1. Call, email or chat with us to schedule your online, telephone or in-person consultation.
- 2. Email us a copy of your Agreement/any document you want our lawyers to review. If you have an in-person appointment, you can arrive early with a copy of your Agreement for the lawyer to review.
- 3. A lawyer will review your paper work and make notes on areas of concern or confusion.
- 4. You meet with the lawyer (in-person or virtually) who discusses your goals and objectives, and any questions you may have and gets clarification on their notes.
- You will receive advice on our legal opinion of the deal reached.
- We would advise if the deal reached achieved your objectives. If it does not, we would make recommendations that would help you in reaching an agreement that achieves your objectives.
- If there is an agreement drafted, we would advise you if it reflects what was agreed.
- If there are any errors in drafting, we would recommend changes.
- 5. If the Agreement meets your objectives and the drafting reflects what was agreed to, we will sign off on the Agreement otherwise, we will schedule a follow up signing appointment free of charge.