Negotiating Amending Agreements
Any domestic contract may be updated, revised, or new terms added or removed through the negotiation of Amending Agreements. As children mature, their needs and the sharing of the cost of those needs should be kept current by entering into Amending Agreements. An expired entitlement to receive child support should be formally terminated by Amending Agreements just as new agreed provisions should be added. Other reasons to enter into these Agreements are to correct an earlier inadvertent inconsistency, to clarify an ambiguously worded clause, or clarify the commencement to termination of an obligation owed to a partner, former spouse, or the children.
The new Agreement should be kept with the original domestic contract. Amending Agreements are also helpful when the family business ownership expands with new classes of shareholders or with subsidiaries in a new market affecting or enhancing the financial support or property sharing provisions of the original domestic contract provisions.
The Contents of Amending Agreements
The opening clauses of Amending Agreements refer to the main contract between the parties such as a Marriage Contract or Separation Agreement. There may be annual changes such as for the child support example above or there may be a sole Amending Agreement Central to the agreement are the group of clauses identifying any rescission, amendment, or insertion of new provisions. The clauses will identify the provisions to be modified with precise terms to describe how the change is to be made.
Care is also taken to ensure the internal consistency in the whole original agreement remains intact so the intention of the parties’ new changes does not disturb the structure or integrity of the foundational agreement.
Any third parties needing to be informed of the contractual changes such as financial institutions obligated to make regular transfers of funds from one party to the other will directed to be undertaken by one party as a new obligation under the Amending Agreement.
“Confirm and Ratify”
Once all the changes are itemized and their location in the original document identified, the next clauses of Amending Agreements “confirm and ratify” the parties’ unwavering agreement that the original agreement continues in force except where specifically altered by Amending Agreements. The parties confirm that they continue as joint authors and take responsibility for ensuring that the new text is accurate. The closing terms of the Amending Agreement include Certificates of Independent Legal Advice demonstrating that each client understands the nature and consequences of the changes made.