It seems that there are different seasons for different family law processes. In terms of marriage agreements, May seems to be a busy time for prenuptial agreements most likely because June and July are the hottest marriage months in Ontario. December sees the courts inundated with Christmas access motions that will decide with whom the kids will spend the holidays. There are some things a couple might want to consider before vowing to write a marriage contract that is agreeable to both individuals, no matter what the month.
Prenuptial agreements can be a good idea for those marrying for the second or even more times. When it comes to marriage agreements in Ontario, a prenuptial agreement may work well for those who have amassed their own assets and who are going into second or third marriages. These contracts give financial transparency to the union and clarify what's what and may be especially important if there is blended family involved.
When people negotiate a prenuptial agreement, finances and property are usually the primary issues at play. Ontario couples may cover other items in their marriage agreements, such as child custody, that do not directly relate to money. Most recently, another clause has been added to these legal documents: social media restrictions.
A marriage contact, also knowns as a prenuptial agreement, or prenup, is a document that allows you to settle certain issues before a separation or divorce. It’s usually best to create this type of document at the beginning of a relationship as both parties are generally in a more positive and reasonable state of mind than during a separation.
You and your partner have decided to marry. In an age when divorce rates compete with marriage as a lifestyle choice, your families and friends rush to advise that some kind of customized agreement between you be written up. Whether known as prenuptial, postnuptial or marriage agreements, Ontario courts recognize them as contracts under the law, specifically domestic or marriage contracts.
Ending marriages in Canada is not at all unusual. In fact, almost every person in Ontario probably has a friend or family member who has gone through a divorce. The statistics gathered in the census in 2011 indicate that the number of Canadians who have gone through divorces or separations in the 20 years prior to that is five million. The issues of every family are unique, and so is every divorce -- the only given is that it is likely to be painful and emotional.
Times have changed, and many Ontario people have established careers and accumulated assets by the time they consider marriage. For that reason, marriage agreements have gained popularity over recent years. In the not-too-distant past, prenuptial agreements were primarily reserved for couples with substantial disparities between the incomes of the two spouses, or when one party is involved in a family business that must be protected in the event of a divorce.
While some people in Ontario may cringe at the mention of a prenuptial agreement, a professionally drafted one has many advantages. Motor vehicle owners take out insurance to protect against the possibility of an accident -- not because they expect to crash. Those getting married sign marriage agreements to protect against the possibility of a subsequent divorce or of one spouse's death during the marriage.
The possibility of a marriage ending is not a pleasant consideration for most young couples and newlyweds. Nevertheless, studies indicate that many millennials are taking precautions with their assets and having marriage agreements prepared. While not a romantic gesture, it may well be a smart move for many Ontario men and women.
In our previous blog post, we discussed the importance of ensuring your marriage contract is legal and binding in Canada. Some people might have questions about these contracts because they were considered against public policy until the 1980s. Now, these contracts are becoming more common and they are legally enforceable to a large degree.