When a couple marries or starts a common-law relationship, they can encounter various legal and financial issues. Marriage contracts will resolve this problem. Failure to address and resolve these problems early can jeopardize the union or marriage. One example is asset distribution. Today, many people, particularly those entering their second or third marriage or marrying later in life, sign a marriage contract (also known as a prenuptial agreement). This agreement aims to protect not only their pre-marital assets like investments, retirement savings, and homes but also future assets.
A prenup in Canada is called a marriage contract. Let’s review how marriage contracts work here and how Ottawa Family Lawyers can help you draft one that best protects your interests.
What Is a Marriage Contract?
A marriage contract is a formal agreement between two people who intend to get married or are married. Essentially, it covers issues concerning property and asset distribution and establishing whether a spouse will receive spousal support after separation, for example.
Spouses can also use it to exclude assets they owned before the marriage, especially a home, from property division – potentially designating it as the matrimonial home during the marriage. In Ontario, for married couples, the Divorce Act governs property division matters.
If two spouses separate or divorce, the Act dictates property division. A marriage agreement enables couples to bypass portions of the Divorce Act, making their decisions about property and income division.
Contents of a Marriage Agreement
The content of a marriage agreement will usually include provisions for asset distribution and spousal support. A properly drafted agreement should consist of the following:
- It is presented in writing and is signed and witnessed
- It is clear and accurate
- Each spouse had legal representation during the negotiation and drafting process.
- Both parties have equal bargaining power, i.e., there was no duress or undue influence.
- Both parties disclosed their full liabilities, debts, and assets.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
Lawyers are very helpful in all family law negotiations, especially those involving financial decisions. A lawyer can provide you with the legal advice you need to make informed decisions about your marriage agreement.
Furthermore, they can draft the agreement correctly to ensure its legal binding.
Talk to an Ottawa Family Lawyer
Marriage contracts can be as simple or complex as you would like them to be.
If you wish to protect your assets, income, and enhance your marriage, rely on RPB Family Law’s Ottawa Family Lawyers for assistance.We specialize in various family law cases, prioritizing your family’s well-being.
Contact us today to learn how we can help.