Marriage Contract Lawyer Toronto
Married Couples and Marriage Contracts
Married couples or couples that are about to marry who feel that the law does not suit their relationship can make their own arrangements with a Marriage Contract. In a Marriage Contract, you can decide what you expect from each other during the marriage. You can decide exactly how property will be divided if the marriage ends; it does not have to be divided equally. You can also describe how support payments will be made. Additionally, you can agree to make plans for the education and moral upbringing of your children, even if they are not yet born.
For example, in Ontario, the law treats marriages as an equal economic partnership. When you get a divorce in Ontario, the value of the property you and your spouse acquire throughout your marriage, and the increase in value of the property you brought into the marriage, will be divided according to the equalization formula set out in the Family Law Act of Ontario. However, through a marriage contract that may have been in place prior to the marriage or during the marriage, you may be able to alter the amount of equalization or completely waive equalization.
However, there are certain issues that a marriage contract cannot address. For example, the Ontario Family Law Act explicitly states that any provision in a marriage contract attempting to limit the rights relating to the matrimonial home is unenforceable. Ontario law provides married spouses an equal right to stay in the matrimonial home regardless who is on title. Where only one spouse is on title, the right to possession for the non-title spouse ends when they cease to be spouses (when they get divorced).
Another example of what a marriage contract cannot address is the issue of child custody and access.
Although most marriage contracts are entered into prior to getting married (commonly known as a prenuptial agreement), you can still enter into a marriage contract after you get married. The agreement must be in writing and signed by you and your spouse in front of witnesses who must also sign. It is also a good idea to obtain independent legal advice prior to signing a marriage contract.
Why You Need a Lawyer to Prepare a Marriage Contract
Marriage contracts are essential legal documents that can significantly impact your future. Therefore, you should think carefully about your decision and speak to a Toronto divorce lawyer before signing a marriage contract to protect your rights.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Toronto divorce lawyer for more information about a marriage contract in Ontario.
NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER: The material posted on this website is only for informational purposes and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you require legal advice relating to your particular situation, it is highly recommended to consult with a lawyer.