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What Happens at the First Consultation?

Marriage Contract or Cohabitation Agreement

The first consultation for a Marriage Contract or Cohabitation Agreement covers the following items:

Advise Client with respect to the purpose of contract/agreement and when it is needed.
  • Contract out of the Law when appropriate to do so.
  • Provide more certainty as to what happens on separation, death, incapacity.
  • Provide proof of what the assets were and their value when married as it may be relevant later.
Explain basic Family Law principles.

The areas covered are:

  • Support
  • Equalization of Assets
  • Matrimonial Home
Explain Law with respect to contracts/agreements
  • What is not allowed to be covered – children, home, welfare
  • Formalities – disclosure, legal representation
  • Also set aside if duress, fraud, undue influence
  • Also possibly set aside if unconscionable – really long marriage
  • LSP cannot represent both sides – for Client’s protection
  • What if other side refuses to get a Lawyer?
Explain necessity of coordinating contract/agreement with Will and financial management

Areas to cover are:

  • Wills and Powers of Attorney
  • How to govern financial affairs
Obtain information

Complete the Client Information Forms.

Obtain Client's instructions to draft contract or agreement

Complete Lawyer instruction form.

Answer Client's questions

Go through any points that need clarification

Confirm the process to finalize

Explain the process to execute and complete the file.

Discuss fees, payment and retainer.

Explain the fees and have the Client sign a Retainer Agreement.

Follow-Up Checklist

Provide Client with a “To Do” list if necessary

Provide the Client with the LSP Manual
  • Give the Client an LSP Manual
  • Explain what is in the Manual and what is for
  • Go through the New Client memorandum
Requisition to Open File and Obtain Signed Retainer
  • Confirm Client’s identity as required by The Law Society of Upper Canada
  • Complete Requisition to Open File Form
  • Discuss and obtain signed retainer and money retainer or credit card authorization
  • Conclude business