Negotiated Agreements Case Studies

The following cases are based on real scenarios we have encountered in our practice. We have changed the names and some details to protect confidentiality.

Sarah and Abigail

Sarah and Abigail were common-law partners, having lived together for four years. They had no children together. Their significant assets were their family home, which Sarah held title to, and their pensions.

Sarah intended to keep the family home and both agreed they would keep their own pensions without sharing with the other. With the help of their financial advisor, they determined how much the value of the family home had increased over the length of their relationship.

Sarah came to us to draft a separation agreement that reflected their wishes. We drafted the agreement, and Abigail obtained a lawyer to provide her with independent legal advice. Abigail’s lawyer requested a few minor changes to the agreement. Sarah and Abigail signed the agreement in the presence of their lawyer, and other than filing a document with the Manitoba Land Titles Office, that was the only legal involvement they needed to go on with their lives.

Robert and Jeanne

Robert and Jeanne were in a dating relationship when Jeanne became pregnant. They decided not to continue their intimate relationship and came to us to help work out their child financial support obligations based on their parenting plan. Robert and Jeanne had gone to a mediator to help them prepare a parenting plan, so all we needed to do was collect information on income and their daycare costs to advise them of their support obligations for their child.

Once we analyzed the information, we were able to prepare an agreement for the two of them that formalized their child support payments and provided them with a way to figure out future support amounts if their financial circumstances changed.

It was important for Robert and Jeanne to maintain a positive relationship, so they asked if they could just work with one lawyer. We proposed, and they agreed, that Robert would be our client, but we would work with both of them on the agreement until it was time for Jeanne to obtain legal advice. Jeanne met with her lawyer, and after they reviewed the agreement, she signed it, and it was returned to us for Robert to sign.

Suki and Adam

Suki and Adam began a relationship following marriages that ended in divorce. They had two adult children from their previous relationships. The couple wanted to live together but were worried about preserving their estates for their children’s benefit. They also wanted to make sure there would be no conflict between their children regarding the estate should one of them die.

Suki and Adam had us prepare a cohabitation agreement reflecting their wishes. They signed an agreement that provided clear direction on what they would share if they separated or one of them died, as well as what would happen to their home. The agreement also ensured Suki and Adam’s estates would be left to their respective children after death.

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