Domestic Contracts and Agreements
In general, we start our relationships without any written contracts and when a cohabitation or marriage ends, the law prescribes certain rights and obligations. Domestic contracts in family law are agreements that can address issues in the event of a future breakdown in the relationship or document the terms that the couple may come to settle upon after a breakdown through negotiation.
Our lawyers can assist you with the negotiation of such contracts by educating you on the law and other options to achieve the best possible resolution or anticipated resolution for you and your family.
Marriage Contracts and Prenuptial Agreements
In this type of agreement, a couple may agree to property or support rights and obligations that differ from what the law might dictate in the event of a breakdown of the marriage. Marriage contracts are also used to address specific issues involving financial matters such as assets or debts prior to marriage, family wealth, or children from prior relationships. In other cases, one or both of the parties may, to the extent possible, just want to delineate the couple's entitlements in the event of marriage breakdown or on death.
With more couples deciding to live together without getting married, cohabitation agreements are becoming more common. This type of domestic contract deals with issues that may arise at the end of a relationship to minimize litigation. Issues such as property division, support, and estate claims can be addressed as well as whether anything changes upon marriage.
Agreements can address parenting matters to help parents navigate co-parenting while no longer together. They can address the parenting schedule, decision-making, children's special expenses, and mobility issues. Our experience in anticipating areas that might give rise to potential disputes can help you avoid future legal expense and conflict for your family.
When parties are able to settle issues arising from the breakdown of their relationship, they usually document the terms in a separation agreement. The foundations for a negotiated separation agreement are proper financial disclosure, application of the law, and creativity to bridge the gaps in parties' positions.