DOMESTIC CONTRACTS AND SEPARATION AGREEMENTS - Lack of independent legal advice - Enforcement - Marital or family property - Equalization or division

Law360 Canada (May 12, 2023, 1:38 PM EDT) -- Appeal by husband from a decision of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal that set aside a decision ordering wife to pay an amount of about $90,000. The parties were married for three years and had no children together. Upon their separation, the parties signed a separation agreement (Agreement). The Agreement did not deal with all the family property issues and neither party received independent legal advice prior to signing the Agreement. Shortly after, the wife had her legal counsel prepare an interspousal agreement and sought financial disclosure from the husband. He refused to sign the interspousal agreement. The wife filed a petition seeking divorce and costs but not property division or spousal support. In turn, the husband sought division of the family property. The trial judge did not find the terms of the Agreement binding on the parties and declined to give it any weight. The wife was ordered to pay the husband about $90,000. She appealed. The Court of Appeal found the trial judge erred in both fact and law in relation to the Agreement and applied the Miglin framework to conclude the agreement should have been afforded great weight. The husband argued the application of the Miglin framework was inappropriate. The wife sought to uphold the Court of Appeal’s property division....
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