Domestic Contracts

Toronto Family Lawyer for Domestic Contracts – Marriage, Cohabitation, Parenting, Paternity, Separation and Family Arbitration Agreements

domestic1Domestic Contracts are defined at Part IV, section 51 of the Family Law Act as a “marriage contract, separation agreement, cohabitation agreement, paternity agreement or family arbitration agreement”. Section 2(10) of the Act allows domestic contracts to prevail over the terms of the Act unless the Act provides otherwise (for example, parties cannot contract out of child support or, custody or possession of the matrimonial home in a marriage contract). Each of these agreements are crafted so as to set out the rights and obligations of the parties as they negotiate and agree. Such agreements are enforceable in court, binding on the parties even more so when the parties have each had independent legal advice before signing the agreement. Domestic Contracts can be challenged and may be set aside by a Judge where the Judge finds that the terms of the agreement are unconscionable or otherwise. The strength of the agreement is fortified by solid preparation, disclosure and advice. There is no automatic right to have an agreement varied and most agreements do include a ”material change in circumstance” provision which allows the agreement, or a provision of the agreement, to be reconsidered should circumstances change.