You’ve got questions about prenups? Well, I’ve got answers! Check out below our extensive answers to the most common questions I get asked about prenuptial agreements.
It is a contract between a couple who is going to marry that sets out their legal rights and obligation when their relationship ends. All relationships end at one point or another – either due to separation or due death.
Yes, prenups are legal in all provinces in Canada provided that they follow all the required legal formalities, such as financial disclosure, being witnessed, and in writing. You can check out my extensive article about this here.
Yes you can, but this is a very different situation than for couples who are not married. The reason for this is that once you marry you automatically obtain certain legal rights which you may be giving up in a prenuptial agreement. However, prior to marriage you have not yet obtained those legal rights, so there is nothing to give up. These are called post nups and you can find more information about them over here.
The Law Society prohibits all lawyers from representing both people in a prenup. The idea is that even if the two of you agree completely on everything, your interests are not identical. What may be beneficial to one of you may be harmful to the other.
There are no hard and fast rules, but generally, the sooner the better. Ideally, you want to start the process at least 4 months before the wedding date. That would allow up to 3 months to prepare and finalize the agreement, with one clear month between signing the agreement and your wedding date. The idea behind the clear month is so that there is no pressure on one party to sign the agreement, and there is time after the agreement to change one’s mind if one regrets signing it.
If your financial or legal situation is more complicated, then you would want to start sooner, and if your situation is not as complicated, you may be able to start later.
If the timing is tight between the agreement and your wedding date, consult with a lawyer as to whether it is appropriate to proceed with the agreement. There are also other options you should consider. The first is postponing your wedding date. The second is what is known as a “stand still” agreement. This is a prenup that basically states you and your partner intended to enter into a prenup prior to your wedding, but were unable to do so due to time constraints. The two of you plan on entering into a prenup after the wedding. The agreement states that if the marriage ends, then you and your partner are to be in about the same position as if the marriage had not occurred. The stand still agreement expires after a time period (typically 6 months to one year), which is the deadline for you and your partner to enter into a properly negotiated prenuptial agreement.
The idea behind financial disclosure is that you cannot enter into an agreement about your and your partner’s finances without both of you having a clear understanding of each other’s financial situation. To ensure that this is the case, as part of the process of preparing a prenuptial agreement, you must list out your income, assets and debts, and your partner must do the same. This financial disclosure becomes part of the agreement.
A notary is not needed for a prenup. You and your partner will each need separate witnesses when you are signing your agreement.
This is simply a clause in your prenup stating that at some point in the future, your prenup is no longer to be followed – normal family law rules will apply. A similar kind of clause is what is known as a review clause. This states that at some point in the future, you and your partner will review the prenup to determine whether it still suits your relationship, and if required, will make appropriate changes to the prenup.
It depends on what you are looking for. You can see our fees here.
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You’re Invited to Call or E-Mail!
If you’re considering a prenuptial agreement — or have already made your decision — you’re invited to call or email us. We’ll explain for free how you can protect your assets and plan your estate. You can call us toll-free at 855-PRENUP-4 or email us using our contact form here. We can help you anywhere in Ontario, including Ottawa, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, and Hamilton.