Divorce and marriage lie at the heart of the family law framework. Separating couples might face a great deal of fuss in terms of distribution of the assets, property rights, inheritances, debts, and financial responsibilities. However, signing a prenuptial agreement can demolish the financial distress to a great extent that couples encounter in the event of death or divorce.
This blog article aims to articulate the legal nature, essentials, and what issues emanate from the prenuptial agreement.
What Is A Prenuptial Agreement?
In its plain sense, a prenuptial or premarital agreement (abbreviated as “prenup”) is a legally valid contract signed between bride and groom before marriage, for the purpose of overseeing financial concerns and other sensitive contingencies that may come up in the marital knot. Much to the surprise, most people think that signing a prenup is a signal of the presence of some sort of suspicion or mistrust in the relationship. However, the truth is quite the opposite.
A prenup, recognized under Section 52 of the Ontario Family Law Act 1990, is one of the most effective methods to safeguard your existing and potential rights. The rationale behind signing up a prenuptial agreement is envisioning the possibility of negating all unfortunate eventualities even prior to the solemnization of marriage.
What Makes A Prenup Valid?
For a prenup to be enforceable and valid, there are certain substantive parameters of fairness to be satisfied so that the administration of marital rights is not exclusively in one party’s domain.
- The marriage contract is required to be in writing.
- An out-and-out financial disclosure to the best of the knowledge has to be made by the signing parties. Further, forgeries, if any are made in the contract, can otherwise be punishable.
- Voluntariness of the signatories have to be proved. The agreement must be free from all sorts of force or any undue influence.
- There has to be an established framework for the distribution of assets and property rights – in case of both death and divorce.
- It is crucial to address the position of the children as a result of previous wedlock, and the financial liabilities related thereto.
- It is significant to note that the material interest of any signatory must not be infringed in the contract.
What Can A Prenup Consist Of?
The most common issues that can be covered through this formal contractual manner of entering into a marriage are;
- Methods for discharging debts
- Distribution of property after the separation or death
- Child and spousal support arrangements
- Rights and liabilities ongoing and after marriage
- Laying out procedure of divorce
- Protection of wealth and assets received as inheritances during the marriage
- Provisions for dealing with pension pay, life insurance plans, and health policies
Bringing up child decision-making responsibility and parenting issues are not covered by the prenup, given the underlying principle of “best interests of the child” associated with child custody and parenting-related issues.
Note: Please be advised that the above-mentioned is a non-exhaustive list of issues that are commonly seen in a prenup. Signatories to a prenup can include any provision for any foreseen unfortunate mishaps that might come up except those that are contradictory to the law.
A Prenup Is Always A Safe Option
It can be sufficiently concluded that a prenup can curtail the chances of marital conflicts and overall improve the stability of marriage. Above all, it can smoothen the process of divorce by providing stipulated terms in the intricate divorce proceedings. It is also beneficial with regard to the protection of rights of the children that oftentimes are already drawn out in the agreement.
Get In Touch With Us
A well-designed prenup is an effective coping mechanism in protecting the legal benefits of the parties to a marriage. If you have any queries or doubts prior to signing, drafting, or modifying your prenuptial agreement, do not hesitate to get in touch with our skilled family lawyer at Ayaz Mehdi Professional Corporation who can help you navigate all insecurities pertaining to prenuptial agreements so that your rights can be shielded during and after the marriage.
Disclaimer: Kindly note that sending or receiving information through this site does not establish a solicitor-client relationship. Legal matters are fact-specific, and the law is variably changing. The views expressed and the content provided on this blog are general guidelines and cannot substitute for proper legal advice. Schedule your legal consultation by clicking here: Let’s meet!