In a Cohabitation Agreement or a Marriage Contract, the parties may set out clear terms and designate a process for dividing property and/or for providing support in the event of a death or a separation.
Particularly in the case of a Cohabitation, it is important to have a clear understanding of the law since there is a lack of clarity regarding property division if two people cohabitating choose to separate.
In marriages where there are considerable business and personal assets involved, a Marriage Contract will be in the best interest of both parties. It is also an important consideration for second marriages.
A Collaborative process with an emphasis on an interest-based, cordial negotiation may be an ideal means of negotiating Cohabitation Agreements and Marriage Contracts.
For separating couples, it is important to negotiate terms of the many changes to come, such as, a revised schedule of the family, parenting arrangements, property division/equalization, child support, and spousal support.
A Separation Agreement is a legally binding document. Separation Agreements can be amicably negotiated by the parties alone, with lawyers, in mediation or through a collaborative process.
I advise on and represent clients in the following processes:
We can take care of all necessary filings for a flat fee. An uncontested divorce process takes about four to five months.
A court order severs a marriage in a formal manner. An uncontested divorce can be obtained without attending at court if neither party has unresolved issues. Either party can commence divorce proceedings after separation, but it takes a year for a divorce to be granted. The court will grant a divorce if it is satisfied that no unresolved issues remain. If provision for child support is not made, a divorce will not be granted.
We can discuss your needs related to probate, probate fees and provide advise on estate planning. We will assist you in drafting your will and connect you with tax and planning experts if required.
You may want to prepare powers of attorney to appoint a substitute decision maker to act on your behalf. You may also want to prepare for a time of temporary or permanent incapacity due to illness, or require someone to act on your behalf during an absence. Powers of attorney can be: short-term powers of attorney, continuing powers of attorney for property and powers of attorney for personal care (a “living Will”).
If you have been appointed as an executor of a will or there has been a death without a will, we can assist with all aspects of filing court applications, determining the value of an estate for probate purposes and handling all aspects of estate administration and distribution.
If you require assistance with estate litigation, negotiation or mediation of estate related issues, we can take care of your needs during this difficult time.
Collaborative law was created by Stu Webb, a Minnesota family lawyer, in the late 1980s. Currently, principles and methods of collaborative law are applied in many civil contexts in the United States: probate, employment, medical error, and business among others.
In collaborative law practice, the parties and their lawyers sign a contract (a participation agreement) as a commitment to work towards an out-of-court settlement. If the parties are unable to reach a mutually satisfactory settlement and court proceedings must be filed, the collaborative lawyers withdraw their services and the parties find litigation lawyers to start the court process.
With this backdrop, collaborative lawyers practice interest-based negotiation, and accept the challenge of using creative problem-solving techniques to resolve all areas of disputes. Communication is respectful and the process is not only settlement-focused but also long-term relationship focused.
Thus far in Canada, collaborative process is mainly practiced in the area of family law. There have been lively discussions among lawyers of all kinds, professionals in diverse areas, as well as members of the judiciary who are committed to its wider application.
Jane Huh is a founding member of the first collaborative civil practice group in Toronto. Please check back here for updates on collaborative civil law in Canada.
After the consultation, the first meeting is approximately an hour and a half.
Clients can expect to be asked questions so that an explanation about the appropriate process choices can be provided.
We will also recommend the best process options for each client.
As well as answering any questions, we will make sure that all clients make important, immediate or temporary decisions wisely.
We will also provide anticipated costs and timeframes, as well as the next steps.