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What Is A Prenuptial Agreement (Prenup)?

Most of us have heard of a prenuptial agreement, or prenup for short, most likely on television or in a movie. We typically associate them with the rich and famous who are ultra paranoid about protecting their interests, and so they employ a prenup. In reality, however, a prenup is technically a type of contract, which is entered into by the two people who intend to marry. It's main purpose is to empower individuals by ensuring that important issues, like legal rights and financial interests, are decided prior to the breakdown of the relationship. It is important to understand, however, that a prenup isn't just concerned with what happens when a relationship breaks down, but rather, it can deal with how assets and property are treated, and even the roles and responsibilities of the spouses during the relationship. Therefore, we shouldn't look negatively on a prenup, as it can perform many other functions other than protecting one's wealth. You should always act wisely before entering into a marriage by seeking the counsel of experienced Toronto Prenup Lawyers, who will advise you on your rights and best strategies.


It is important to understand that marriage is a kind of legal partnership, similar to that which exists between two business partners, but with obvious differences. As such, anyone who intends on entering a partnership would be well advised to review the terms of the partnership agreement. Marriage is no different: it makes good sense for you to protect yourself in marriage, in the same way that it does for a business. At LawyerSelect.ca, we'll help you protect your interests by connecting you with a competent Toronto Prenup Lawyer.


What Are The Benefits Of A Prenup?

The breakdown of a marriage can have catastrophic consequences on the lives of the people involved. It sometimes causes people to become less empathetic, and act in unreasonable ways. Because of this uncertainty, it makes practical sense for the parties to a marriage to resolve their differences by reference to an agreement that they both signed on for at a time when they were still amicable with one another. As such, you should make good use of the period leading up to marriage to adequately protect the assets that you're planning on bringing into the marriage. If drafted correctly, a prenup can protect your pre-martial assets, as well as any appreciation in their value during the time of the marriage. At LawyerSelect.ca, we'll help you protect your interests by connecting you with a competent Toronto Prenup Lawyer.

How Is A Prenup Drafted?

It is important to note here that not all prenups are created equal. Whether a prenup is effective or not will depend largely on how well it is drafted. It not only must conform with the law by not overstepping its reach, but it also has to account for numerous situations and eventualities, which otherwise may have had an effect on the party's ability to protect their assets. In other words, it has to close all the loopholes, and only a skilled Toronto Prenup Lawyer will be able to do that. At LawyerSelect, we specialize in all facets of family law, and we know who the top Toronto Prenup Lawyers are, and we'll make sure to connect you with them.


With respect to how a prenup is drafted: firstly, it must always be in writting; secondly, it must be signed by both the parties involved; thirdly, the signatures of the parties must be witnessed; and fourthly, each party must make full financial disclosure to the other. It also makes good legal sense for each party to obtain independent legal advice from a Toronto Prenup Lawyer on the agreement before they sign it. In fact, you should encourage your partner to have a Toronto Prenup Lawyer review it, as this will negate a later claim that they never fully understood the terms of the agreement. Finally, the agreement can be signed either before or after the marriage.


At LawyerSelect.ca, we'll help you protect your interests by connecting you with a competent Toronto Prenup Lawyer.

The Exception Of The Matrimonial Home

The matrimonial home, or martial home, is consistently treated different than other types of property by the Ontario Family Law Act (FLA), and with prenups it's no different. Under the FLA, there are certain rights that cannot be discharged by a party in a prenup, despite having consented to the term. A party's rights in the matrimonial home are included in the group of rights that cannot be discharged. In fact, the FLA grants both partners equal rights to live in and possess the matrimonial home, as well as the right to share in the property's appreciation. These rights are in effect regardless of which spouse holds the legal title to the property, or who was the exclusive owner of the property prior to the marriage. That means that if the spouse who owned the home prior to the marriage wants to evict the other spouse upon separation, they won't be allowed to do so without a court order. Therefore, a prenup cannot affect a spouse's equal right to possession of the matrimonial home. The only types of agreements that can affect such a right are a separation agreement, divorce, or a court order.  At LawyerSelect.ca, we'll help you protect your interests by connecting you with a competent Toronto Prenup Lawyer.

What Can Be Included In A Prenup?

For the most part, the law is fairly liberal in regards to what can be included in a prenup. Prenups can deal with many different marital eventualities, including:

  • Ownership of property.
  • Division of property.
  • Spousal support obligations.
  • The right to participate in the upbringing of one's children.
  • Any other matter in the settlement of the spouse's affairs

However, prenups cannot deal with:

  • The right to custody or access to the child, or children.
  • Any limitation on a spouse's right to possession to the matrimonial home. 

Why Do I Need A Toronto Prenup Lawyer?

It's no secret that the internet is filled with "do-it-yourself" prenup kits that claim to be comprehensive. That's utter nonsense. The truth is that what makes or breaks a prenup is its level of detail and the foresightedness of its author. The ability to foresee eventualities is a product of both intelligence and experience, neither of which a "do-it-yourself" kit can provide. Every case that comes before an experienced Toronto Prenup Lawyer has unique attributes that will require him or her to alter their approach and adjust their tactics. No two situations are alike. Furthermore, the "do-it-yourself" kits do not guide you through the process of financial disclosure, which is absolutely necessary if the prenup is to hold up against any future challenges to its validity. If the spouses have not fulfilled the requisite disclosure requirements, then the validity of the agreement will be in question. And lastly, the process of obtaining Independent Legal Advise on the prenup acts as a counterargument to any future claim by your spouse that they never fully understood the terms of the prenup, and therefore, should not be bound by them. Those who opt out of the legal process by using a "do-it-yourself" kit will not receive the protection afforded by the giving of Independent Legal Advice.


At LawyerSelect.ca, we encourage you to take advantage of our free Lawyer Referral Service, and let us connect you with a Toronto Prenup Lawyer who will give your case the specific attention it deserves.

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