Agreements allow parties to decide for themselves how to resolve their issues. In the family law context, an agreement can cover issues such as parenting of children, support, and division of family property. Agreements may also include other terms. For example, an agreement may state that neither party will have any claim on the other’s estate if one dies without a Will.

Before entering into an agreement, it is important that both parties understand what they are agreeing to and the alternatives that are open to them. Courts are reluctant to change an agreement unless the well-being of a child is involved. Never sign an agreement unless you fully understand what you are agreeing to and are willing to live with the terms.

The information in this section can help parties understand the issues but each party should consult their own lawyer before signing any agreement. A lawyer can ensure that the agreement says what the parties want it to and that the agreement will be enforceable. A lawyer will also advise the parties of their legal rights. If the agreement deals with family property each party must have independent legal advice for the agreement to be enforceable.