MARRIAGE CONTRACT | PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT
A marriage contract commonly referred to as a prenuptial agreement (“prenup”) as is an agreement that defines the terms and obligations that parties have agreed to, typically dealing with how to deal with or resolve certain issues upon the breakdown of the marriage.
Specifically, it will often address how the parties will divide their combined or sole assets whether acquired before marriage or during the marriage, the issue of spousal support, and to support your estate planning goals.
Regardless of your situation, having a marriage contract in place can be a great advantage to anyone. We understand that conversations respecting having a marriage contract prepared is not the most romantic and one that some may not want to have, but parties should be wary about the future consequences of not having one.
A marriage contract can outline and define what would happen in the event of separation and ensure there are no unintended future consequences by not having a formal agreement in place. It is ultimately an agreement that will help the parties reduce conflict, legal costs, provide clarity, and protection in the unfortunate event of a separation.
Interestingly people are surprised to learn that couples can enter into a marriage contract even after they are married; even years into their marriage, as long as the parties are both entering into the agreement in good faith (i.e not intending to enter into the agreement with the hopes of separating shortly).
What can be included in a Marriage Contract?
- What occurs with property each spouse brought into the marriage?
- What occurs to the matrimonial home if it was owned by one spouse prior to marriage?
- How would property be divided between the spouses if they separate?
- Are there certain assets that a spouse wants to deduct or exclude for various reasons (workplace pension, investments, home, inheritance etc.)?
- Would spousal support be payable upon the breakdown of the marriage?
- What happens to the spouses’ respective or combined property in the event of death?
We here at AP Lawyers, have a simple 6-step process to get you started in having a Marriage Contract prepared:
- 1. An initial consultation – where we can gather the goals you want to achieve, provide our legal advice, our approach at achieving your goals, and any implications impacting your objectives.
- 2. After your consultation, you and your partner can discuss the proposed terms, or we can write to your partner or their lawyer and communicate and negotiate the proposed terms.
- 3. Financial Disclosure – each party will exchange the relevant financial disclosure.
- 4. Drafting the Agreement– once the parties agree on the terms, we will draft the agreement and the other party who is not represented by us will have to obtain independent legal advice.
- 5. Execution of the Agreement–the parties and their lawyers will sign the Agreement either electronically or in person.