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Independent Legal Advice – Separation or Cohabitation Agreements

Jan 23 2024

Getting independent legal advice (ILA) on agreements impacting your family is a crucial step in ensuring that individuals fully understand the legal implications and consequences of the agreement they are entering into. This process involves consulting with a lawyer who is not representing the other party involved in the agreement. The goal is to provide the individual with unbiased legal guidance, helping them make informed decisions and protecting their rights and interests.

Not having lawyers provide each party with ILA can also be problematic down the road. Courts are more inclined to set aside an agreement as unfair if no ILA was obtained by one or both of the parties.

Fees:

Our law firm offers comprehensive ILA services for separation, custody, cohabitation and pre-nuptial agreements at competitive prices as follows:

If prepared by a lawyer representing one of the parties: $1,000 plus tax.

If self-prepared by a party on their own: $1,250 plus tax.

For animal custody agreements, please see our separate page here: https://rdmlawyers.com/insights/fees/pet-custody-agreements/.

What the Fee includes:
  • Review of the agreement by the lawyer in advance of the meeting
  • One meeting with the lawyer for up to 1 hour to review the terms of the agreement. This will include a discussion of any relevant legal obligations and alternative options that may be of benefit to you before finalizing the agreement.
  • One additional “signing” meeting of up to 15 minutes (if necessary).

These fees do not include costs for negotiating changes to the agreement or preparing or exchanging financial disclosure which we are pleased to offer at hourly rates. We also do not guarantee that the lawyer will witness the agreement with you or sign the Certificate of Independent Legal Advice that may be attached. It is our professional obligation to decline where we are concerned that the agreement is substantially unfair or you may be getting pressured in to signing. We will at all times act in your best interest.

Need an Agreement Drafted?

We are happy to assist you with that. The cost typically ranges from $2,500 to $5,000, depending on the complexity of the matter and whether it covers all issues or is limited to assets or custody. If there are extensive negotiations the cost may exceed $5,000.

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