Independent Legal Advice (ILA) in Ontario
Gail Vaz-Oxlade is author of 16 books on finances and best known in her role as host of TV’s Til Debt Do Us Part, Princess and Money Moron.
Ask Gail Vaz-Oxlade
For most people divorce is less about legalities and more about kids, tax implications and making smart money decisions. Best-selling financial author Gail Vaz-Oxlade brings common sense wisdom to answer your questions about Separation Agreements and divorce in Ontario.
“Some people believe that it is sufficient to simply hire a Notary to witness an Agreement. A Notary does not provide ILA but rather only witnesses the signatures. Only a family Lawyer can give legal advice on a Separation Agreement. As well, a lawyer in Ontario, cannot give legal advice to both spouses.”
Independent Legal Advice for your Separation Agreement
- a spouse failed to disclose to the other significant assets, significant debts or other liabilities that existed when the Separation Agreement was made;
- if a spouse signs an agreement while being forced, coerced or under duress
- if a spouse did not understand the nature or consequences of the Separation Agreement; or
- if the Separation Agreement was not prepared in accordance with the law of contract.
It is for this reason that mediation recommends independent legal advice (ILA) to ensure that everyone understands their rights responsibilities and obligations before they sign their final Separation Agreement. A lawyer providing ILA will also review the financial disclosures, and explain if the contract is fair, valid and enforceable.
The Top 3 Divorce Mistakes People Make
1. Hiring a lawyer before understanding all their negotiation options
2. Succumbing to emotions at the expense of their financial future
3. Not starting with a smart, legal and financially savvy go-forward plan
The Wisdom of ILA
Remember, it is in each person’s best interest to ensure sure that your spouse also receives independent legal advice. Ensuring that your spouse receives ILA before they sign a Separation Agreement will hinder any future claims that they did not understand what they were signing or that they were signing under duress. When both spouses receive ILA, a Separation Agreement is presumed to be binding on both you and your spouse.
A lawyer cannot give legal advice to both spouses. Also, some people believe that it is sufficient to simply hire a Notary to witness an Agreement. A Notary does not provide ILA but rather only witnesses the signatures. Only a family Lawyer can give legal advice on a Separation Agreement.
What To Expect When You Call The Common Sense Divorce
Not everyone is ready to talk with someone in person. You can call the Common Sense Divorce at anytime and hear a pre-recorded 2 min message about our services.
We will gladly take the time to speak with you about our services and the divorce process in Ontario. The Common Sense Divorce offers a free 20 min telephone assessment and consultation.
We understand that this is a difficult time and calling us is a big step. We are going to work hard to make this phone call easier, make you feel at ease and make sure that we respect your privacy.
We understand that you may be just researching and have not made any decisions. We do not assume that because you are calling, that this means you are divorcing.