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  • Charles Baker

What Is A Prenuptial Agreement?

When you’re preparing to marry your significant other, there’s a lot you’ll need to consider. You might be contemplating where you’re getting your wedding cake from, what the colour scheme of your wedding will be and even where you’ll buy a house once you’re married.


However, preparing to marry your significant other is also a time to contemplate other important things about your finances and assets once you’re married. After all, planning the wedding and the actual marriage are two very different things.


One of the things that you should consider before you tie the knot is a prenuptial agreement. We know that thinking about arrangements in the event of a divorce is probably not what you want to think about before you’ve even walked down the aisle but arranging a prenuptial agreement can make divorce proceedings much easier for you and your significant other.


A professional Newmarket divorce lawyer can help you understand some benefits of prenups. To understand what a prenup is and how it can benefit you, keep reading.


What Is A Prenuptial Agreement?


Defining Prenuptial Agreements


A prenuptial agreement, also known as a premarital agreement, is a formal agreement made between two parties about the division of their assets if they get divorced.


Although prenuptial agreements have been commonly associated with those who are very wealthy, they’re also integral for anyone bringing any kind of asset into a marriage.


The overall aim of a prenuptial agreement is to protect your assets in the event of a divorce, so it’s worth thinking about if you’re bringing any kind of asset into your marriage.


What Are The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Prenuptial Agreements?


Although it might not sound like it, making plans in the event of a divorce before you’ve gotten married has significant benefits.


Here are some benefits of signing a prenup before you say ‘I do’ :


⦁ It encourages healthy conversations about your financial information

⦁ It makes your sharing of assets fair in the event of a divorce

⦁ It can speed up your divorce proceedings

⦁ It clarifies your marital properties

⦁ It can protect you from assuming your spouse's debt


As with all things, there can be some drawbacks to signing a prenup agreement with your partner. Here are some of the disadvantages of signing a prenuptial agreement before your wedding:


⦁ Asking your fiancé to sign a prenup can be upsetting if not communicated properly, leading to trust problems

⦁ An unfair prenuptial agreement might make one party more financially vulnerable than the other

⦁ Prenuptials don’t tend to plan for changes in family circumstances, such as loss of life, incapacitation, having or losing children and a change in your assets


However, you shouldn’t let some of these cons put you off from making smart decisions about how to share the assets in the event of divorce. To combat some of these, try to have realistic and fair conversations with your partner and establish a level of trust before signing the agreement.


This ensures that your partner doesn’t question your intentions or trust and can leave them more open to having balanced conversations about finances.


What Are The Qualifications Of Getting A Prenuptial Agreement?


There are a few set qualifications that both parties will need to abide by in order for a prenuptial agreement to be valid. Section 52 of the Family Law Act in Canada states:


(1) Two persons who are married to each other or intend to marry may enter into an agreement in which they agree on their respective rights and obligations under the marriage or on separation, on the annulment or dissolution of the marriage or on death, including,


(a) ownership in or division of property;

(b) support obligations;

(c) the right to direct the education and moral training of their children, but not the right to decision-making responsibility or parenting time with respect to their children; and

(d) any other matter in the settlement of their affairs.


Section 56 (4) also states that all parties must disclose all significant assets, debts and liabilities when making the contract. The contract will be invalid in the eyes of the court if either party doesn’t understand the consequences or nature of the contract.


Both parties will need to consent to the agreement and not be pressured into signing for the contract to be valid.


Can One Overturn/Revoke A Prenuptial Agreement?


No one can predict the future, and what it will do to your relationship, so it’s important to be realistic when creating a prenuptial agreement.


You can periodically revisit your prenuptial agreement and invoke sunset clauses into your contract. These clauses allow you to update your contract and allows you to set a date when this agreement will no longer be valid.


A prenuptial agreement can be thrown out if either party undervalues or doesn’t disclose any assets, as the court will deem this as unenforceable.


Other Important Information You Need To Know About Prenuptial Agreements


Alongside the basics, it’s important that you know what a prenuptial agreement can’t do. Here’s what you can’t plan for in a prenuptial agreement:


⦁ Making arrangements for child custody that the court considers to be not in the child or dependent’s interest

⦁ Dictating that a spouse leaves the marital property at any point

⦁ Wavering a spouse’s right to disclose financial information


Are You Looking For A Family Or Divorce Lawyer In Newmarket? Call Baker Doodnauth!


Are you looking for a professional and experienced Newmarket family/divorce lawyer who can help you navigate prenuptial agreements? Contact Baker Doodnauth now.


Our team of professional lawyers at our Newmarket law firm are on hand to make your prenuptial agreement proceedings much easier and help you navigate your prenup if you’re choosing to file for divorce. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

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