Is the Agreement Procedurally Unfair?
Before a Court will set aside an agreement, it will first consider the circumstances surrounding the agreement and whether the parties entered into the agreement in a fair manner.
The Court will consider several factors, such as whether:
- one party unfairly pressured the other into signing the agreement;
- one party had substantial power over a more vulnerable party;
- one party failed to disclose important information to the other party that would have affected the distribution under the agreement;
- there was an error in calculation or other mistake;
- one party lied to the other party about something that would have affected the agreement; and
- each party obtained legal advice about the agreement from his or her own lawyer.
After considering the above, the Court may stilldecide to not set aside all or part of the agreement if it finds that it would not have made a substantially different order for property division.
Is the Agreement, in Substance, Significantly Unfair?
Under a second step, even if the Court finds that the agreement was obtained in a fair manner, the Court may still set aside the agreement if the Court determines that the agreement is significantly unfair.
In determining whether the agreement was significantly unfair, the Court will consider:
- the length of time that has passed since the parties made the agreement;
- the parties’ intention in achieving certainty in making the agreement; and
- the degree to which the parties relied on the terms of the agreement.
If you need legal advice regarding a property agreement, please contact Heath Law LLP.