Independent legal advice is when a lawyer in Ontario or wherever you’re based advise you separately to your partner or other people involved in a joint agreement. It is essential when you are entering into any legal agreement or signing any legal document such as a pre-nuptial contract to ensure you have all the critical facts at your disposal. This impartial advice will include such things as how this issue affects you in terms of the pros and con’s, obligations and the consequences involved should things go wrong in the future. This ensures you have all the necessary information in order to be able to make a well-informed decision as to whether an agreement is fair and so you can sign any legal documents with full confidence that you will be legally protected as much as possible. Family Law Firm El Cajon
When you receive independent legal advice; a certificate to show this is signed and included with the actual legal agreement being made. Without this, any documents that form the agreement may not be enforceable in court if you are involved in any kind of future dispute that involves the agreement.
Is it necessary or cost-effective?
Trying to use one Ontario lawyer for all parties to save on fees, therefore, can be a false economy and is not considered good practice because it can result in people being poorly advised and cost much more in terms of stress and money in the long run. In fact, in some situations, lawyers are not even allowed, by law, to advise everyone involved which goes to show you just how vital independent legal advice is considered to be by the justice system. This is because of independent advice:-
· Provides an objective view of legal documents
· Confirms a client has understood the document and has not been pressured into signing a document/making an agreement.
When do you need it?
Whether an independent Legal Advice Certificate should be obtained or not? Depends on:
1. The kind of agreement you are making
Certain documents such as pre-nuptial agreements or separation agreements can have a tremendous impact on your present and future security, rights and obligations and in the event of a dispute; can involve a highly combative process in court. Documents such as this will require a lot of consideration and scrutiny to ensure fairness and equality for both parties and that they are legally enforceable should the need arise.
- The context of the situation
For example; this could include a conflict of interest, or the Ontario lawyer is acting as a mediator.
In the case of a pre-nuptial agreement, this would mean each party seeks independent legal advice regarding their agreements, instead of having one lawyer acting for both the future husband and wife.
All’s fair in love and war
No one wants to enter an agreement such as a pre-nuptial agreement thinking that their marriage WILL go wrong but independent legal advice on this issue and other issues can ensure all documents are fair and enforceable should the need arise.