Are you in need of an independent legal advice certificate? Most people hear about independent legal advice (ILA) for the first time from their lawyers. The family lawyer might have been hired to create a separation agreement. The lawyer completes the draft and sends it to the client for feedback. Once the draft is what the client wanted the lawyer will send it to the spouse. The other spouse will be told to get legal advice from a separate lawyer.
Legal Advice Before Signing
ClearWay Law has top lawyers in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Ottawa. You can call us toll-free or fill out the form on this page. The lawyers can also offer ILA over video conferencing. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if you are outside of Toronto or Ottawa. You could be in a small Canadian town of 100 people.
Our lawyers can do ILA for real estate, business law, or family law.
You can also reach us by filling out your information on the “live chat” button in the bottom right of the screen.
Avoiding Conflict Of Interest With Independent Legal Advice Certificate
Both parties need to meet with a different lawyer before the separation agreement is signed. The lawyer that gives ILA will suggest any amendments required prior to the agreement being signed. Most lawyers charge hourly for ILA, and the cost depends on how many hours it takes.
ILA is simply getting legal advice before signing a contract. It is mandatory for many real estate and family law contracts.
Doing ILA makes the agreement much stronger, and it makes litigation much less likely in the future. By getting ILA now, you are likely saving a lot of money on legal fees in the future. You decided to get an agreement done, so make sure it is done properly.
Before signing the agreement, the lawyer will give you legal advice. This can happen in person or over video conferencing.
Both parties must have a different lawyer to avoid a conflict of interest.
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Lawyer Represented Both Parties
Most lawyers will not “sign off” on the agreement unless they think the agreement is fair for their client. Most clients don’t understand their legal rights, and the lawyer should explain the client’s rights.
Creating an independent legal advice certificate is often a big risk for lawyers to take, many lawyers won’t do it. The most common reasons for someone getting ILA are marriage agreements, separation agreements, and real estate deals. Sometimes the deal doesn’t work out for the client, and the client blames the lawyer. Sometimes the client thinks the lawyer was representing them in the case, and not just offering independent legal advice. It is vital to have honest and open communication between the lawyer and the client.
Tell your lawyer everything they need to know about the situation. They cannot give you advice if they do not understand the situation.
If you are looking for independent legal advice, you have the following two options.
- Call us toll-free at 844-466-6529
- Fill out the form on the side of the page
Independent Legal Advice Certificate
If the spouse that didn’t hire the lawyer signs the separation agreement, they might later claim that they thought the lawyer was representing them. Lawyers must represent their client’s best interests, and during a divorce, it is highly likely that there are parts of the two spouses’ “best interests” that are opposite. Further, ILA is a good idea for other areas of law as well (like business law.)
Some lawyers when creating a marriage agreement will require that the other spouse gets an Independent Legal Advice Ontario certificate. Therefore, this is to reduce their liability from being sued for “representing both parties’ interests.”
When creating a separation agreement, the court will want to see that ILA was done. Each party must have received independent legal advice. This is also true for real estate law. If you are signing a contract that involves property, both parties must have received independent legal advice.
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Reducing Conflict Of Interest Is Important
Some people want to get their divorce over as quickly as possible. We certainly support this, but it is important that our clients understand that a separation agreement affects their rights and responsibilities. The agreement can have a major impact on the rest of their lives.
The agreement will affect:
- How often you get to see your child(ren)
- The amount of property and assets you receive
- How much child and spousal support you pay or receive
These agreements can have many pages and will likely include complicated legal jargon. The long paragraphs are created to make sure there is no uncertainty about what was meant. This makes it easier for a family judge to understand in the future if needed.
Some people use templates found on the internet. The problem with these templates is that they might use the wrong area of law or might not include everything that is needed.
You will want to receive independent legal advice if:
- The other spouse created the domestic agreement
- A mediator wrote the agreement
- You used a template online
Using the same lawyer puts the lawyer in what is called “conflict of interest.” Also, it is important that the lawyer gives proper legal advice to their client. Further, it is also the lawyer’s responsibility to keep notes of what advice they gave. A good practice is for the family lawyer to create a checklist.
Situations Where Lawyers Should Recommend Independent Legal Advice
- Where the lawyer thinks there may be a conflict of interest
- The lawyer is representing multiple people under a joint retainer agreement
- If the lawyer and the client are working out a unique deal
- The lawyer made a mistake
- If the lawyer is working as a mediator (the lawyer becomes a third party)
Do You Need an Independent Legal Advice Certificate Certificate?
When you get ILA during mediation or before signing a domestic agreement, you might want to ask your lawyer for an Independent Legal Advice certificate. Not all lawyers provide this as part of the agreement. The other spouse’s lawyer might want to see proof that you receive independent legal advice. A judge might also want to see that you received ILA.
You can prove you received it by including the name of your lawyer, and the other spouse’s lawyer in the agreement. You can include details of where and when you met your lawyer. It is also possible to ask the lawyer for a certificate of the ILA. Lawyers may charge extra for this, so it’s up to you if you feel the need to get it. Normally a certificate is not provided by default.
As you can see, ILA sounds very simple, but it’s not. It is a critical part of getting a domestic agreement done. Also, if you go through a mediation and agree on terms, it’s important to make sure the agreement you sign is binding. Therefore, the last thing you want is to reopen matters years in the future.
Read more articles:
- Am I Entitled to Spousal Support?
- Protecting Property In Common Law
- Your Spouse is Cheating on You, Now What?
If you want to meet with a lawyer for ILA, call our team toll free.
Please note there is a difference between ILA and independent legal representation (ILR).
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Do I need a family lawyer?
It will depend on your situation. The best thing for you to do is to get a free consultation with a lawyer. You can then learn about the process and the costs.
Does legal aid help with custody cases?
Legal aid does cover family law cases if you are low income. Keep in mind that many clients on legal aid do not get the same attention as regular clients. Many legal aid lawyers have hundreds of clients at the same time!
Is family law provincial or federal?
It’s actually both. That is what makes it so confusing. Every province has their own provincial laws. But the Divorce Act also applies (and is federal.)
What questions should I ask family lawyer?
It’s better to tell the lawyer about your case and answer the lawyers questions. Let the lawyer determine what is important in your case. They know what the courts will want to see.
At what age can a child decide where they want to live?
Each province has their own laws. There can be other complications as well if the child has a handicap. Common ages are 18 or 19 years old.
What are my legal rights in a divorce?
You have a lot. There is a provincial Act and a federal Act that determines your rights and obligations You should definately speak to a lawyer about this question.