What is a prenuptial agreement? Is it valid in Canada?

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In the video below Hilary Angrove founder of Angrove Law answers the question on what is a prenuptial agreement and whether they hold up in court.

Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer Explains:

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Getting married is an exciting time, but it’s also a good opportunity to think about the future and protect yourself and your partner. A prenuptial agreement, also known as a “prenup,” is a great way to define the terms of your marriage and ensure that both parties are clear on their rights and responsibilities.

In Canada, a prenup is legally referred to as a marriage contract or domestic contract. But what exactly does that mean? Let’s dive in!

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is a voluntary legal agreement created by two individuals before they get married. This agreement outlines how assets, debts, and other financial matters will be handled if the marriage ends by separation, annulment, divorce or death. It allows you and your partner to decide on these important issues rather than leaving it up to the government.

Warning:

Getting married without a prenuptial agreement could cost you $10,000 or more in legal fees if your relationship were to dissolve.

Save you and your partner the financial headaches by getting on the same page now with an agreement.

hilary angrove ontario prenuptial agreement lawyer

How to Create a Valid Prenuptial Agreement in Canada:

Creating a valid prenuptial agreement involves several steps:

1. Full Financial Disclosure

The first step is full financial disclosure. Both parties must fully disclose their financial status, including all assets and liabilities. This transparency ensures that both parties are entering into the agreement with a clear understanding of each other’s financial situation.

If one party hides assets or provides false information about their assets or debts, the prenuptial agreement might not hold up in court!

2. Drafting the Terms

Next, you will draft the terms of the prenuptial agreement. This includes deciding how assets and debts will be divided, whether spousal support will be provided, and any other financial arrangements. It’s crucial to remember that certain things cannot be included in a prenup, such as child custody or child support arrangements, which are determined by the courts.

3. Signing the Prenuptial Agreement

Finally, the agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties before the marriage takes place. It should be witnessed by two independent witnesses.

Although not required, it is recommended that each party seek independent legal advice to ensure the agreement is fair and legally binding. Your lawyer will help you to fully understand the nature and consequences of your voluntary prenuptial agreement.

FAQs About Prenups In Canada

Are prenups enforceable in Canada?

Yes! Prenups are enforceable in Canada. While the provinces of Canada previously considered marriage contracts to be contrary to public policy and unenforceable, the Family Law Act specifically authorizes marriage contracts.

How much does a prenuptial agreement cost?

Prenup costs can vary depending on the complexity, amount and division of assets involved. At Angrove Law, we provide flat fee pricing with no retainers. We charge between $1,200 and $1,900 for custom marriage contracts. Book a consult today for us to give you your flat fee price!

Why would you want a prenup?

A marriage contract protects you from the equal division of assets required by law, ensuring that your property and assets are distributed according to your wishes rather than a default 50/50 split. It also safeguards you from being responsible for your spouse’s debts, clearly delineating financial obligations. Find out more about why you should consider a prenup here.

Conclusion

A prenuptial agreement is a valuable tool for couples who want to define their financial future together. It ensures transparency, protects individual assets, and helps prevent future conflicts. At Angrove Law, we specialize in helping couples create fair and comprehensive prenuptial agreements. If you’re considering a prenup, don’t hesitate to reach out and book a free 15-minute consultation with us. We’re here to help you protect your future and start your marriage on solid ground.

For more information, check out our detailed page on prenuptial agreements and learn about cohabitation agreements if you are not legally married.

what is a prenuptial agreement

External Resources:

Divorce Act, R.S.C. 1985, c.3 (2nd Supp.)

Government of Canada: Processing spouses and common-law partners: Assessing the legality of a marriage

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