Marriage contracts (also referred as prenuptial agreements) are agreements entered into by two people who have plans to marry, and wish to agree on their respective rights and obligations during marriage, or upon separation, including:
- Ownership in or division of property,
- support obligations for spouses,
- the education and moral training of their children, but not the right to custody or access to their children,
- any other matters in the settlement of their affairs.
In Ontario, a marriage contract is valid whether it is signed before or after the marriage takes place, however, in some jurisdictions, these agreements are only valid if they are signed before the marriage takes place.
Marriage contracts are becoming more popular for a variety of reasons including:
- People marrying a little later in life, with accumulated assets and wealth, wish to protect themselves.
- People entering their second marriages want to ensure their children from their first marriages are financially protected.
Whether people wish to protect only certain property, or all property, as marriage contracts deal with issues that may arise in the future, they must be very specific, and the couple must disclose all their assets, debts, and income, or risk the contracts being successfully challenged in the future. Contact Shirley for a no-obligation consultation.