Prenuptial Agreements Lawyer in Oakville

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Prenuptial Agreements Lawyer in Oakville

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Marriage and cohabitation contracts are now an accepted and normal part of the marriage process, especially when one or both partners have a great deal of property or when one or both partners have been married before. While nobody wants to think of a new relationship or marriage ending in divorce, it is important to think of your future. Being wise and preparing for the possibility that your marriage may end will not bring about its end, but having a marriage or cohabitation agreement in place if anything goes wrong may save you a great deal of trouble and money if it does.

What is a Marriage Contract?

A marriage contract  is also called prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. It is a domestic contract or agreement entered into prior to a marriage/relationship breakdown. A marriage contract is a voluntary agreement between two parties who are planning to marry or are already married, which sets out how certain matters will be dealt with should the marriage break down. This type of agreement is most often entered into prior to the marriage (referred to as a prenuptial agreement or ‘prenup’) and is a good idea for couples who want to outline, in advance, what will happen to each partner’s assets and finances in the event of a divorce.

What is included in a marriage contract?

Marriage contracts should be accompanied by full financial disclosure. Marriage contracts that are not accompanied by full financial disclosure may encounter enforceability issues. Similarly, if an agreement is not reasonable, or was not negotiated fairly, it may not be enforceable. That is why it is important that you seek the advice of a family law lawyer when contemplating drafting a marriage contract.

What Cannot be Included in a Marriage Contract?

Among the few matters that cannot be included in a marriage contract are child custody and access. Those are left up to the court. You may want to write into the contract that the value of a home you owned before you married will be deducted from its final worth when you separate or divorce. Only any increase or decrease in the value of your matrimonial home (where you live after you marry) will be added to the property available to split after a marriage break-up. Be aware family gifts or cash you put towards a shared home are usually divided equally.

Types of marital agreements

There are several different types of agreements related to marriage. The main contract is the marriage contract itself, which is your agreement to marry your spouse.

Other agreements that married persons may enter into include:

  • Prenuptial agreements: A Prenuptial Agreement in Canada is also referred to as antenuptial agreement or premarital agreement and is abbreviated as “prenup”. If Couples sign a written contract before they get married then it is a prenuptial agreement and if they sign the written contract after they are married then it is a marriage contract. Generally, a prenuptial agreement sets forth how the marital assets will be divided in the event of divorce or either spouse’s death. It can also address what assets remain the separate assets of each spouse and what happens to the appreciation in value of the separate assets.

  • Postnuptial agreement: The couple is already legally bound and the spouses owe a fiduciary duty to each other. There may be a concern that the provisions in a postnuptial agreement were not bargained for because one spouse did not really have a choice about signing the agreement. But legally, postnups differ from prenups only by the fact that they’re entered into after a couple has already gotten married. However, most states allow parties to a postnuptial agreement to use the same attorney although, by doing so, the courts will more closely scrutinize the agreement for fairness. Prenuptial agreements, meanwhile, always require separate counsel.

  • Separation Agreement: A separation agreement is a document in which separating couples define how their joint assets and responsibilities will be divided between them. They may be used by married or unmarried couples, and are often used instead of divorce proceedings. If you are planning to make your separation permanent, the separation agreement should ideally set out the final financial agreement that will be presented to the court when the divorce or dissolution finally goes through.

  • Marital Settlement Agreement: A Marital Settlement Agreement, written and signed by both spouses, is a contract that defines the terms of their divorce. Depending on the issues in your case, the Marital Settlement Agreement must address a variety of issues. These agreements usually cover property division, child custody, child plans, debt division, spousal support and any other relevant issues related to the divorce.

Contact us

Prenuptial agreements can be beneficial for both parties, since they solidify the terms of a relationship and marriage before problems arise. But every prenup should get a thorough review by an attorney before they’re signed, since the cost of critical errors in the document could cost one or both of the parties later. Find a local family law attorney today for some peace of mind.

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