Prenuptial Agreements/ Marriage Contracts
Strategic Toronto Family Lawyers for Prenuptial Agreements and Marriage Contracts
For couples where one or both spouses are bringing significant assets into a marriage, a marriage contract, or prenuptial agreement, is an important part of wedding planning. In the unfortunate event of separation or divorce, it can save both parties emotional distress, and legal expense, by setting out their mutual obligations in advance.
It is advisable to consult with a knowledgeable family lawyer before you enter into a prenuptial agreement with your partner, particularly if you own a business, or have other significant financial assets that you would like to protect in the event of a marriage breakdown.
At Financial Litigation, we offer strategic advice about prenuptial agreements to clients that dives deep beyond the basics that many other family lawyers address. We combine our deep knowledge of family law, with our experience in financial litigation to provide our clients with focused, personalized advice that centres on the financial implications of marriage contracts and helps them with proactive wealth planning.
How a prenuptial agreement works
A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract. Both parties must negotiate in good faith and enter the contract voluntarily. As part of this process, both spouses must receive independent legal advice and have their own lawyer to advise them, review the contract, and protect their best interests.
There are a great number of things that can be addressed through a “prenup”, including:
- How property and assets will be divided;
- Treatment of the matrimonial home;
- Exclusion of personal assets, including inheritances and family trusts;
- Payment of spousal support;
- Treatment of children from previous relationships; and
- Protecting professional and business interests.
Marriage contracts can also be entered into after marriage. This may be desirable if there have been significant changes in the income or financial circumstances of one, or both spouses. For example, if one spouse leaves the workforce to care for children, they may wish to address spousal support obligations. Alternatively, if the couple intends to use one spouse’s inheritance to purchase a family home, they might set out how those assets should be treated in the event of divorce.
Making better investment decisions about marital assets
Although the primary purpose of a prenuptial agreement is setting out a roadmap for how each spouse’s assets will be treated in the event of divorce, it can also help couples make better decisions about how to handle their assets during the marriage.
Prior to entering into a marriage contract, both partners are required to disclose the entirety of their holdings, debts, and assets. By discussing these openly, couples can begin their lives together with a better plan for managing finances throughout the marriage, such as identifying which debts to target first, or using investment vehicles that might maximize returns.
Our team has close relationships with financial experts that can help clients identify and value assets, to help ensure that any marriage agreement properly reflects their financial circumstances.
Toronto family lawyers offering independent legal advice about prenuptial agreements
At Financial Litigation, we focus strictly on the financial elements of family law matters. Our advice is tailored to individuals and couples with high income or significant assets, including entrepreneurs and professionals who may own a business or a practice. As a business owner himself, Eli Karp understands the unique concerns that other business owners may bring to the table in protecting their assets and planning for all eventualities. To make an appointment with our team, call 416-769-4107 x1 or contact us online.