An important part of deciding to get married in Toronto is determining whether a marriage contract is right for you. A marriage contract is a legally binding document you and your future spouse typically sign before marriage. Married couples can agree to a legally binding marriage contract after getting married as well.
For cohabitating couples, an alternative agreement they can agree to is called a cohabitation agreement. This agreement is similar to a marriage contract. It is highly recommended for couples that have children together or are acquiring assets jointly.
To help you decide if a marriage contract is right for you, ask yourself the following:
Do you have significant assets? If you have investments, savings accounts, stocks, bonds, real estate, artwork, etc., and you do not want to share this equally with your spouse if you get divorced, then you need a marriage contract.
Do you own the home you and your spouse will reside in? If you already own the home before your marriage, a marriage contract can ensure you retain sole ownership of it in a divorce.
Were you previously married and have certain obligations? If you are already paying child support, spousal support, or have other such obligations with an ex or multiple exes, you can ensure these obligations are met by including them in your marriage contract to your new spouse.
Do you want to have control over future assets and debts? When some couples get married, they do not have significant assets or debt. However, things change over time. You could start building an extensive portfolio with a wide range of assets. You could start a successful business. You could equally acquire debts for various purchases, investments, etc.
A marriage contract can be worded accordingly to determine how assets and debts acquired throughout the marriage are to be divided during the divorce. So, even if you do not have much today, you can protect future assets and debts.
Do you plan on starting a family? Aside from protecting current and future assets, a marriage contract can include a section regarding your future children. You and your spouse can decide who will be the custodial parent and how important decisions for the children will be handled.
Do you have concerns about your marriage lasting? Approximately one-third of all marriages in Canada will end in divorce. While divorce will be the last thing on your mind as you plan your wedding, it is better to have a safeguard in place. We cannot predict the future. A marriage contract can provide peace of mind for you and your future spouse.
Do you want to save time and money if you get divorced? Litigation can be a lengthy process in a contentious divorce. The costs of litigation can run upwards of tens of thousands of dollars. With a marriage contract in place, you can avoid costly and lengthy litigation. The marriage contract not only offers you protection for the future but would also ensure that issues to be discussed for divorce are narrowed and rely on the contract already in place, thereby reducing costs and making this a more efficient divorce process.
As evident, having a legally binding marriage contract in Toronto is beneficial for all couples. For further questions about marriage contracts or assistance in creating one, contact Davies family Law Firm at (416) 363-0064 today, for the legal advice and guidance you need, to protect your interests.