Prenups, known as marriage contracts in Canada, are documents that married couples can draft to decide how best to divide any shared assets in the event they separate. A recent study conducted in the United States indicate that there has been an increase of young couples drafting prenuptial agreements with their lawyers before getting married.
According to a news report by GlobalNews.ca, the same trend can be seen in Canada amongst millennials. While it may seem odd to discuss breaking up with your partner right before you begin building a life together, this conversation can help protect you in the long run. A marriage contract allows you and your partner to come up with your own solutions on how you wish to divide property, finances, and create spousal support arrangements.
The rationale behind a marriage contract is that you will be more likely to abide by a contract that you agreed upon instead of the decisions of a judge. Should separation proceedings end up in court, a judge will make a decision based on the evidence presented, which may not always be an outcome the couple agrees with. A valid and legal marriage contract allows you to retain some of that control yourself. However, it is important to note that a marriage contract may not always hold up in court years later, as its possible that factors may change that weren’t present at the time the contract was drafted.
It’s best advised that couples consult with a family lawyer about what can and cannot be included in a marriage contract. An experienced family lawyer will be able to help you both have a conversation while you’re both in a mindset that’s reasonable and free from resentment or frustration – feelings which are often present during separation negotiations. And it’s better to have a legal professional review and assess your agreement to spot any issues or problems early before a separation occurs. If left unchecked, it’s possible some of the provisions may not be enforceable at the time of a separation.