Independent Legal Advice (ILA)
All About Independent Legal Advice (Family Law ILA)
Family law independent legal advice is a legal requirement in Alberta in certain situations. The Matrimonial Property Act requires it in Section 38. Without Independent legal advise any agreement may be invalidated and non-effective. The family law lawyers at Kahane Law Office in Calgary can help you.
ILA in Family Law: Not A Rubber Stamp
Family law independent legal advice is taken very seriously by the courts in Alberta. The court of appeal ruled that in cases where ILA is given as a “rubber stamp”, that ILA may not be effective to satisfy the law. Many people retain our firm to have Family law documents “notarized”. Family law independent legal advice is not simply notarizing a document.
Documents Requiring Family Law Independent Legal Advice
The following types of documents require ILA:
ILA for Cohabitation Agreements
These agreements lay the ground work for people who will be living together. It addresses issues that can come up before, during and after a relationship. Learn more about Cohabitation agreements here.
ILA for Prenuptial Agreements
Prenuptial agreements are agreements for people who will be getting married. They also set out how issues that arise before, during and after marriage are dealt with. Learn more about prenuptial agreements here.
ILA for Post-Nuptial Agreements
Like prenuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements are for couples who are married. In this case, the agreement is entered into after the wedding ceremony. Similar issues are addressed. Learn more about post-nuptial agreements here.
ILA for Separation Agreements
Separation agreements deal with the issues such as children, support and division of debts and assets on the breakdown of a relationship. Learn more about separation agreements here.
Why Family Law ILA is Taken so Seriously
When a person enters into one of the above agreements, they are giving up considerable rights and/or taking on serious obligations. A “quick separation agreement” to allow one party to get a new mortgage can have serious long term consequences. It is vital to understand all your rights and obligations before you sign anything.
But “We Agree on Everything”…
When our family law lawyers give family law independent legal advice, we do not look to cause problems. Our role is to educate and advise. We are also required to make sure that a party is not being coerced into signing an agreement that they do not want to. ILA must be given separate and apart from the other party. We cannot act for both parties when giving family law independent legal advice. If an agreement is so one sided or prejudicial\detrimental to our client then we may not sign off on it. Those situations are rare. We will not advocate conflict for the sake of conflict.
Paralegal and Online Services
If you have retained a paralegal or online service, then both parties will have to attend for their own family law independent legal advice. While there are some paralegal services that draft acceptable agreements, they are not able to offer any legal advice. Many such services do not draft proper agreements and they will require significant changes to comply with the law in Alberta. These “cheap” services often become more expensive than lawyers once editing and ILA is taken into account. This extra cost can be compounded significantly if the agreements are not binding.
The Cost of Not Getting Family Law Independent Legal Advice
In the worst cases, couples who have a relationship breakdown contest the agreements that do not have ILA. In these cases, significant cost can arise from both disputing and defending the validity of these agreements. Essentially the validity of the agreement issue can lead to a full trial with all the associated costs and time. If the agreement is ruled to be invalid, then the parties will then have to litigate the actual issues at hand.
Finding Family LAW ILA Lawyers in Calgary
To schedule an appointment with one of our family law independent legal advice lawyers, please contact our experienced team at Kahane Law Office. CONNECT NOW. We can be reached toll-free at 1-877-225-8817 (or 403-225-8810 locally in Calgary, Alberta), or email us directly here.