Sorley & Still
Barristers and Solicitors

15064 Yonge Street
Aurora, ON L4G 1M2
Telephone: 905-726-9956
Facsimile: 905-726-9957

& By Appointment Only
2 - 450 Hume Street
Collingwood, ON L9Y 1W6
Telephone: 705-994-4616

General Inquiry Email: reception@sorleyandstill.com

www.aurorafamilylaw.com
www.collingwoodfamilylaw.com

Family Law - Domestic Contracts


The Family Law Act (Ontario) extends broad contractual rights to people in a domestic relationship to order their affairs:

  • before they are married or while they are married (a “Marriage Contract”),
  • before they are living together or while they are living together in a common law relationship (a “Cohabitation Agreement”) , or
  • upon the breakdown of their domestic relationship (a “Separation Agreement”),

by entering into a domestic contract in which they agree on their respective rights and obligations in connection with such matters as:

  • the ownership in or division of property,
  • support obligations,
  • the right to direct the education and moral training of their children, and
  • any other matter in the settlement of their affairs.

The right to custody of or access to children is not the proper subject matter of a Marriage Contract or a Cohabitation Agreement, but may be addressed in a Separation Agreement.

The enforceability of these domestic contracts – that is the party’s certainty that the agreed to terms and conditions will be upheld by a Court if challenged – is a very real concern.

Parties who enter into domestic contracts should ensure that they and their spouse (or future spouse):

  • receive qualified, independent legal advice throughout the negotiation and finalization of the domestic contract,
  • have adequate time to review the domestic contract with their lawyer and to negotiate required amendments to the domestic contract,
  • receive, and give, full disclosure to the other of their current significant assets, debts or other liabilities,
  • understand the nature or consequences of the domestic contract,
  • understand their rights and obligations under the domestic contract,
  • acknowledges that the terms of the domestic contract are fair and reasonable,
  • acknowledge that neither of them is subject to any duress, coercion or undue influence,
  • are entering into the domestic contract freely and voluntarily

Failure to comply with these requirements could give rise to a successful application to set aside a domestic contract, in whole or in part, under the Family Law Act (Ontario).

Let Sorley & Still Help You: Sorley & Still’s lawyers can help you negotiate and finalize domestic contracts which protect your interests, financial or otherwise.




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