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How a marriage contract could impact property division in divorce

When a couple in the Toronto, area, decides to marry, there are many decisions to make. While the primary focus may be on what will be worn and what food will be served, some couples look farther into the future to address how they want their assets to be divided should their union come to an end prematurely. These individuals could memorialize their decisions in a prenuptial agreement. Also referred to a marriage contract, the use of these agreements is permitted under the Family Law Act. 

While the process of creating such an agreement can be stressful to couples, many divorcing couples that did not take this course of action prior to marrying may wish they had. To make sure both parties’ wishes are reflected in the document it is necessary for each spouse to be to have a lawyer on their side throughout the process.

Because no two marriages are alike, the contents of this contract will vary from couple to couple. Some will be complex and specify outcomes in the case of certain activities occurring. Others are created to point out which assets should not be included in the marital property to be divided. For some couples, the martial home will be addressed in the marriage contract.

While the contents of the agreement will vary, there are certain things that all marriage contracts must contain. In addition to being in writing, it must be:

  • Dated
  • Signed
  • Witnessed by third parties

In addition, both parties must provide fully disclose their assets and liabilities.

The key to every marriage contract is to make sure it is enforceable. Accordingly, all of the guidelines should be followed. A lawyer who handles family law matters can assist with this.

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