Negotiating Agreements For Nontraditional Families

If you are not married, you may wonder what rights you have under British Columbia's family laws. The Family Law Act treats married couples and common law spouses who have been together for at least two years equally when it comes to property division, and you have several options for negotiating other important issues such as support and custody.

At Westside Family Law, we help couples negotiate family law agreements of all kinds, from cohabitation or marriage agreements to separation agreements. Whatever your family's structure, our lawyers will work diligently to find the right solution to your family law issue.

Why Have An Agreement?

When you enter into a family agreement, you're agreeing to terms that may never happen: the terms on which you will separate or divorce. Negotiating a cohabitation agreement or marriage agreement allows couples to opt out of family law legislation and define the legal parameters of their relationship on their own terms.

While we would like to assume all relationships last forever, statistics show that simply isn't the case. Discussing how you would fairly distribute assets in good faith at a time when you are calm and reasonably objective is much easier, faster and less expensive than attempting to come to an agreement after you separate.

Separating By Agreement

There may come a point where you both know the relationship is over. If you were never formally married, you are technically not getting divorced in the eyes of the law. That would require a court order. Instead, you can work out the details of your separation by agreement, meaning you and your spouse will determine how to divide your property, handle support and share custody if you have children together.

Our lawyers are adept at helping couples design agreements specific to their particular needs and wishes. We will help you work through areas of dispute by offering clarity around your options and a clear head in an often difficult situation.

Planning Ahead With A Marriage Agreement

We also assist couples with prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. As with cohabitation agreements, discussing issues of property and support often brings couples closer together. Talking through these issues with a skilled lawyer will help you clarify your financial goals and let you know where each person stands financially.

Talk To Us About Your Family's Needs

Talking with a lawyer doesn't mean your relationship won't last — no one can predict the future. However, knowing your options ahead of time can do a world of good should your circumstances change. Talk to us about your specific questions or needs by calling 604-800-8853 to schedule an appointment.