FACT: If you and your former partner are able to reach an agreement between yourselves as to “who keeps what,” that is wonderful.
The more work a couple can do to reach an agreement on property division or any other aspect of their split, the better. While is it not a requirement that parties have their divisions dealt with by lawyers, there are some potential down falls to not using a lawyer to finalize the property split.
While our Family Law Act provides that the courts will not interfere with agreements reached by parties relating to property on the whole, there are always instances were your ex partner can reopen the division after you think it is all finished. Section 93 of the Family Law Act provides for instances where agreement can be set aside due to circumstances that existed at the time of signing (such as duress, lack of disclosure or a misunderstanding of important terms) as well as circumstances at the time that the party is looking to pull the agreement apart which lead the court to believe that the agreement was significantly unfair. There are protections that lawyers put into place to decrease the chances of an ex applying to court to have the agreement pulled apart, such as signing certificates of independent legal advice.
Additionally, lawyers have the ability to carry out parts of a property division that lay people generally cannot – for example, if one person is transferring their interest in the family home to the other person but the other person cannot give the first person their payout until the home is transferred, lawyers provide undertakings that make sure both parties are protected and one party does not give up their interest in the family home without getting their money.
Questions? Never hesitate to give us a call.