Marriage Agreement in Canada: What You Need to Know

In Canada, marriage agreements are legal documents that outline the rights and obligations of spouses in the event of a divorce or separation. These agreements, also called prenuptial agreements or prenups, can be used to protect assets, define property ownership, and establish support payments. In this article, we`ll cover some important things to know about marriage agreements in Canada.

Why Consider a Marriage Agreement?

A marriage agreement can provide peace of mind for both parties in a marriage. By outlining the details of how property, assets, and income are divided in the event of a separation or divorce, couples can avoid potential conflicts and legal battles down the road. A marriage agreement can also protect family businesses, investments, and other assets that may have been acquired prior to the marriage.

Who Can Enter into a Marriage Agreement?

In Canada, anyone who is legally able to get married can enter into a marriage agreement. The agreement must be signed before the wedding takes place. Both parties must fully understand the terms and implications of the agreement, and each must have independent legal advice before signing.

What Can Be Included in a Marriage Agreement?

A marriage agreement can cover a wide range of topics, including:

– The division of property and assets in the event of a separation or divorce

– The payment of spousal support

– The ownership of property acquired during the marriage

– The protection of family businesses or inheritances

– The division of debts incurred during the marriage

It`s important to note that a marriage agreement cannot include anything that violates Canadian law or goes against public policy. For example, child custody or access cannot be determined in a marriage agreement.

How Is a Marriage Agreement Enforced?

If a marriage agreement is properly executed and complies with all legal requirements, it can be enforced in a court of law. However, a court may set aside part or all of the agreement if it is found to be unconscionable or unfair. This means that the agreement must be reasonable and fair to both parties, and must not be entered into under duress or coercion.

In conclusion, a marriage agreement can be a useful tool for couples who want to protect their assets and establish clear expectations for the future. If you`re considering a marriage agreement, it`s important to consult with a lawyer who has experience in family law and understands the specific laws and requirements in your province or territory.