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Prenuptial Agreement in Canada: The Ultimate Guide

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Getting into married life is a natural and healthy culture of mankind to retain the healthy ecosystem of its race. But sometimes, at the end of this relationship, the last and sad word comes is – “divorce”! Divorce is not a normally accepted term at all, but the truth is – you can hate the word but can’t avoid it!

Considering the scenario of the marital state and the divorce rate in Canada, the official authorities decided to introduce the laws regarding the prenuptial agreement in Canada so that males and females both can ensure a financially secure and healthy life for themselves and their future kids as well.

The fact is – knowing about the prenuptial agreement from ABC and applying it in the appropriate way is the crucial part. And unfortunately, most people in Canada don’t know when, how, and through which process the prenuptial agreement should be initiated.

Well! Let’s see how much this discussion can help you in this regard.

What is the Prenuptial Agreement in Canada?

What is a prenup? If we state the bookish definition –

Prenuptial agreement refers to the paper of legally binding contract before entering marriage where male and female both agree regarding property and all other necessary liability splittings.

Well! Let me make the definition simple for you. Suppose you have proposed to your beloved ones – and the person has accepted you. And he/she wants you to be his/her better half.

Fine! You both have decided to marry each other, but with an agreement paper mentioning some serious issue regarding divorce (if you get compelled). In that paper, some common things will be mentioned such as-
How the property will be split between both of you after divorce

  • How your kids get their anomaly and how much contribution will come from each of you.
  • If you fall into debt during the marriage life, how these due will be paid back.
  • And so on!

A reliable resource states that, in Canada, about 40% of couples get divorced after their marriage. And a significant portion of these, including their children, are to suffer from this separation, especially financially and mentally. The surprising fact is – many of them don’t know what the prenuptial agreement is and how do prenups work!

A Prenuptial agreement doesn’t hold the potentiality to bring back your mental peace, but it can at least eliminate the financial headache from your brain! And that eventually can ensure at least a little bit of peace in the time of excessive stress.

The Difference between Prenuptial and Marriage Agreement

You already know what the prenuptial agreement is. But reading the term “Marriage Agreement” may seem similar to the Prenuptial Agreement. But there exists a very fine line between these two terms that differentiated each other.

In simple words – When you make the agreement before marriage, it’s a prenuptial agreement. If you make the agreement after your marriage, that will be a marriage agreement!

The overall concept between these two is almost identical, but considering the time of signing on the agreement paper, these two are called in two different terms.

Read More: Marriage Contract or Prenup

The Ultimate Guideline for taking Prenuptial Agreement in Canada

Well! It’s a common question of most Canadians – Do prenups work in Canada? The answer is – Yes. But before going through the process, it’s a good practice to go through the appropriate procedure to avoid any kinds of inconveniences.

Here is the precise process that may help you in this regard.

1. Talk about Prenup With Your Partner

We all know that it’s not a lovely thing to talk about the prenuptial discussion with your partner before getting married. But considering the practical perspective, you need to clarify some matters regarding property splitting, liability splitting, etc., to ensure a secure future for both of you. In this regard, you both have to be respectful with each other with proper empathy as well.

2. Pass Your Property to Your Children

If you have kids prior to marriage, it will be a safer decision to pass your separate property to your kids. In the agreement paper, the words should clearly be mentioned about what will happen to your or your partner’s property if anyone dies suddenly. According to the words stated in the prenuptial agreement, the Canadian rules will take the initiative to take the necessary actions to initiate the ownership passing process.

3. Clarify Financial Rights

If you both have children or not, whether you both are wealthy or not, there should be a clear statement regarding the financial right and other responsibilities during marriage life that will eliminate the possibility of facing any toxic arguments regarding this matter.

4. Get Protection from Debts

Getting debts from each other in married life is normal. But when your relationship gets toxic, unfortunately, this silly thing can be raised as a serious issue, especially when the amount is pretty big.

Prenuptial agreement allows you to get protected in this regard as well. In this particular case, it’s necessary to get a lawyer and consult with him regarding how the agreement should be prepared so that the statements written on the contract don’t go against the laws of the Canadian government.

5. Get an Independent Legal Advice

Independent Legal Advice (ILA) refers to the advice from your lawyer that you receive regarding the terms & conditions and other content stated on the prenuptial agreement paper to avoid any kinds of legal complications.

For instance, when the prenup agreement will be prepared for both of you, you both have the right to get separate lawyers to get legal advice regarding this to ensure that the contract is made in accordance with the conventional laws of Canada.

This part is crucial because the real fact is – the court doesn’t like the person without any lawyer. To be on the safer side, it’s a worthy decision to get legal advice from a good lawyer so that you can avoid any complications regarding the prenuptial agreement in Canada.

How to Get a Quality Lawer?

No matter how you and your fiance decide to prepare the prenuptial agreement in Canada, the first step that you must take is – to get a knowledgeable lawyer who can ensure security from facing any kind of legal harassment.

You can check the following things before choosing a lawyer.

  • Experience: Try to get a lawyer who is working with the cases of married and unmarried couples and has at least several years of experience.
  • Success Rate: How much satisfied the customers who took services from that particular lawyer? Consider that!
  • Regional Area: Try to get a lawyer who has dealt with many cases from your region. It seems silly but helpful in real life!
  • Depth of Knowledge: It’s an open secret that almost every lawyer who comes into this profession is talented. But if you find your lawyer with substantial knowledge and experience in dealing with marital cases, you will certainly benefit from the person in the long run.

Ending Note

Though prenuptial agreement in Canada is kind of taboo, even in this era, it’s time to raise the topic and make it normal. Consider the guidelines stated above as the general instructions before signing on the prenuptial agreement paper.

But the general recommendation is – whatever you decide to do, it’s a good practice to consult with your lawyer before taking any further steps. Because considering any changes in conventional laws in Canada, you may have to go through different procedures to make all the processes done.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are prenups enforceable in Canada?

Yes, prenups are enforceable in Canada. However, under several conditions the court might modify or ignore an agreement.

How long does a prenup last in Canada?

A prenup agreement may last until your spouse wants to change it. However, if there is a specific date mentioned in the agreement, it might lose validity upon exceeding the date.

What makes a prenup invalid in Canada?

There are different situations where a prenup can be invalid such as the agreement signed while the other party wasn’t in a good mental state or in drugs and so on.

Can I create my own prenuptial agreement?

Yes, you can create a draft without a lawyer. However, in presence of a lawyer the task might get easier and the agreement might be fruitful in the long run.

Is a prenup valid after 10 years?

In general, there is no validity of a prenup agreement. However, to set a validity or change it settling reasons a family lawyer can help you in this regard.

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