What Is A Marriage Contract?
At Holam Law PC, we strive to work with our clients to craft marriage contracts that are best suited to their financial needs. We provide legal advice to best achieve a client’s goals. The terms of the agreement can be tailored to address the specific needs of the client, and can include clauses in relation to spousal support, exclusion of specific property and assets, and/or inclusion of same in relation to property division at separation, to ensure that each spouse’s expectations of the other are clearly delineated from the outset
Why Have a Marriage Contract?
That’s why it is so important that marriage contracts be negotiated with the assistance of, drafted by, and then carefully reviewed by a family law lawyer who has expertise in this area. The team at Holam Law PC has the necessary experience and knowledge to help you achieve your goals in this regard.
What to put in a marriage contract?
Terms that can be included in a marriage contract are as follows:
- Limitations on and/or waivers of spousal support
- Exclusion of assets from the division of net family property, i.e. equalization
- How assets will be divided if there is a breakdown of the marriage, i.e. separation
- How finances will be managed during the marriage or after separation
- Protection of any substantial gifts, inheritances or trusts
Limitations of a Marriage Contract
It is important to note that while marriage contracts can be put in place to protect financial considerations, these agreements cannot include any terms in relation to the custody of and access to any child of the marriage in the event of a separation. Further, a marriage contract cannot limit the rights of a spouse to how they live in the matrimonial home. These issues are resolved only after a breakdown of the marriage has already taken place.
What Makes a Marriage Contract Legally Binding?
Generally, when all the hallmarks of a binding and enforceable marriage contract have been met, the Ontario courts have upheld marriage contracts. It is for these same reasons that a one-sided marriage contract should be avoided. Often, marriage contracts with unreasonable terms or where a party did not feel fully informed prior to entering into it, leads to resentment and negative relationship undertones. Moreover, a one-sided marriage contract will likely result in a spouse challenging in court the terms of the agreement following a breakdown of the marriage. Escalation of the dispute in ligitation is something that many may otherwise want to avoid. Most importantly, marriage contracts lacking the hallmarks noted above are unlikely to be upheld in an Ontario court. If a marriage contract or any part of it is set aside by the Court, the impugned provisions must be decided anew.
We Will Help with Your Marriage Contract
If you are in the process discussing with your future spouse a marriage contract or are considering one, now would be a great time to contact us. Consulting professionals like us is far better than using an online divorce spousal support calculator.
Call us at 365-608-6161 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation today.