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What You Need to Know About Prenuptial Agreement

November 26, 2018

A prenuptial agreement is a contract in which two people who intend to get married outline the rules that will govern their marriage. This agreement also dictates what will happen if the union fails. In Canada, prenuptial agreements are also referred to as marriage contracts. Are thinking about drafting a prenuptial agreement or have you been asked to sign one your future spouse? If yes, here are some things you should know:

Prenuptial agreements are not just for the rich and famous

Prenuptial agreements are very popular among those with substantial wealth. Still, anyone with assets may enter into a marriage contract. Additionally, while a prenuptial agreement is normally used to protect the assets that were brought into the marriage by each party, you may also use it to protect future increases.

Each person will need their own prenuptial agreement lawyer

You may agree with your soon-to-be spouse on everything that should be included in your marriage contract. However, you will have to retain separate lawyers. The Law Society prohibits a lawyer from representing both parties in a prenuptial agreement. You and your partner do not have identical interests, even when you agree on important matters. For that reason, you will need to ensure that your individual interests and rights are protected.

You will need time to finalize your prenuptial agreement

When you consider signing a prenuptial agreement, it is not wise to do so right before your wedding. You should give yourself some time in case you have second thoughts. Usually, it is advised that you start working on a prenuptial agreement at least 4 months before the wedding date. Take the first 3 months to draft and finalize the necessary documents. The remaining month should be left for reconsideration after signing. If your situation is somewhat complicated, give yourself even more time.

You may enter into a marriage contract after you get married

If you are already married, you may still enter into a marriage contract. A marriage contract that is signed after marriage is referred to as a postnuptial agreement. When you get married, each spouse will automatically inherit certain legal rights. If you later enter into a marriage contract, you may be signing away some of these rights as the marriage contract will supersede the rules that govern marriages in your province.

A prenuptial agreement can include a sunset clause

In drafting a prenuptial agreement, you may include a clause to state that at some time in the future, the prenuptial agreement will be null and void. This clause is known as a sunset clause. After the date mentioned in the sunset clause has passed, the rules of family law in your province will apply to your marriage. Your marriage contract can also include what is called a review clause. This clause allows you and your spouse to review the prenuptial agreement at a specified date in the future to see whether the agreement is still suitable for your marriage. If not, you can then make the necessary changes to the marriage contract.

Do you need a Toronto divorce lawyer to review your prenuptial agreement?

If you are currently going through a divorce and you signed a prenuptial agreement, you should be able to protect your assets from your spouse with the help of a divorce lawyer. If you are looking for a divorce lawyer to review your prenuptial agreement in Toronto, contact us at Baker and Baker Family Law.

At Baker and Baker Family Law, we offer a well-qualified team of seven lawyers with over 90 years of combined experience. We would love to put our experience and skill to work for you. So, give us a call today. Let us help you finalize your divorced while saving as much time and money as possible.

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