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Is a Prenuptial Agreement Right for You?

3 minute read

Navigating legal and financial issues that impact your life when your family dynamic changes can be challenging. Subscribe to FamilyMatters, our Lerners Family Law blog series, which provides insightful information and helps you determine your next steps. 

Contrary to popular opinion, prenups are not just for the rich. While prenups are often used to protect the assets of wealthy people, more and more couples of modest means are opting to have one of these agreements in place before tying the knot. So, what exactly is a prenup? In Ontario, a prenuptial agreement is a written agreement between two people planning to get married. A prenup generally addresses the delegation of money and property if a marriage breaks down. If done correctly, it can be an effective solution for all parties involved.

Is there a difference between a prenup, a postnup, a cohabitation agreement, and a marriage contract/agreement? The answer is "not really." The difference between a prenuptial agreement and a postnuptial agreement is the date when the agreement is made. If couples sign a written agreement before getting married, it is a prenuptial agreement. If they sign a written agreement after marriage, it is a postnuptial agreement. A marriage contract/agreement includes a prenup and a postnup. The nature of a relationship differentiates a marriage agreement and a cohabitation agreement. Unmarried couples who don't intend to marry enter cohabitation agreements, and couples who are married or intend to marry enter marriage agreements.

Although many people who enter into a marriage don't want to spoil the romance by discussing and planning for a potential separation, if that separation does occur, it can be easier to have dealt with things  (for example, property, expenses,  debts, support) before the separation. Like with an insurance policy, you may have it and hope you don't have to use it.

Prenups can help prepare you for and protect you from life's unexpected curveballs.

The statistic is that nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. While it's true that many marriages are based on love and mutual respect, it is also true that, at its core, marriage can also be a financial partnership. A benefit of entering into a prenup is that it allows a couple to have a candid discussion about their expectations if the marriage doesn't last forever.

If you are interested in signing a prenup, the first step is to contact a lawyer. Most prenups are different because couples are different and want to live by different rules. Your lawyer will give you advice, and the lawyers will draft your prenup according to your and your future spouse's instructions.

Call or email us if you are interested in a prenup, a postnup, or a cohabitation agreement. We would be delighted to meet you and strive to return all communications as soon as possible.

At Lerners, we understand the delicate nature of domestic and family-related legal decisions and appreciate the emotional toll they can have on those involved. Our team, located in Southwestern Ontario and Toronto, will work tirelessly to protect your interests and achieve the best possible outcome to get the closure you deserve. With a successful track record that includes some of Canada's most complex family law cases, we dedicate ourselves to achieving results and helping you move forward with your life. Contact us today to see how we can help.

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Joanne H. Stewart

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