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From waiting for the big day to the years that follow, marriage is one of many things to look forward to in life, for some people. But, discussing debt and assets right after putting a ring on it is definitely not a love language you want to learn about. Yet, discussing assets and debt is quite an important step in any marriage-like relationship.

But, don’t knock yourself short when your partner asks for a prenuptial agreement, they are simply protecting their wealth, assets and debt, if at any point the relationship goes a little downhill after the happily ever after. Having a prenuptial agreement protects both partners if ever the marriage dissolves.

In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of having a prenuptial agreement.

A prenuptial agreement is a written agreement that states any agreement you have prior to entering a marriage like relationship. These agreements are enforced when partners decide to end their relationship or go through a divorce. No one can predict what will happen in a decade, two decades, or even further in the future. Without care and planning in the present, one or both spouses can be put in dire financial and legal straits if the relationship breaks down. A separation where the spouses go to court over property disputes can cost thousands of dollars, take years to resolve, cause psychological anguish, and damage the parties’ reputations. It can also lead to court decisions that leave parties in difficult financial positions for the rest of their lives. 

A prenuptial agreement will cover the following topics:

  • You and your partner’s separate property.
  • You and your partner’s shared property.
  • Division of property after separation.
  • Spousal support after separation .
  • Each party’s rights to the estate of the other party after separation.
  • Each party’s knowledge and expectations at the time the prenuptial agreement was signed.

Prenup agreements are in writing and must be witnessed. Though partners can make their own prenup agreement, it is highly recommended to have a legal professional write and witness your agreement. Why? Sometimes the court may permit for the prenup agreement to be set aside if they deem the agreement is unfair. Following this reason, it is strongly encouraged to have the assistance of a lawyer to draft up your prenup.

No one can predict what will happen in a decade, two decades, or even further in the future. Without care and planning in the present, one or both spouses can be put in dire financial and legal straits if the relationship breaks down. A separation where the spouses go to court over property disputes can cost thousands of dollars, take years to resolve, cause psychological anguish, and damage the parties’ reputations. It can also lead to court decisions that leave parties in difficult financial positions for the rest of their lives. Visit our post about this family law act: https://www.paxlaw.ca/setting-aside-a-prenuptial-agreement/

Both of the partners need to fully understand their rights when entering into a new agreement, which is why both partners must have separate lawyers’. Having sperate lawyers ensures the proper independent legal advice is given to each person.

Prenuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements, and marriage agreements are enforceable in BC. If a party believes an agreement is substantially unfair to them, they can go to court to have it set aside. However, setting an agreement aside is not easy, quick, or inexpensive.

What are the pros and cons?

Pros

  • Adds transparency; both partners will have a clear understand of where they both stand,
  • Prevents disputes: An agreement can show both partners their intentions at the beginning to ease and disagreement later on.
  • Estate planning: Prenups can be used as part of your overall estate planning strategy. They can specify how property will be distributed upon death, ensuring that your wishes are followed.

Cons

  • Not Romantic: Writing a prenup agreement is not a fun way to start a relationship.
  • Court: Sometimes prenups do not hold up in court.
  • Complexity: Prenuptial agreements can be legally complex and may require the assistance of attorneys. The process can be time-consuming and costly, which may deter some couples.

This list is not exhaustive.

It’s essential to note that prenuptial agreements are not romantic, and some people may view them as a lack of trust in the relationship. However, they can serve as a practical tool to protect your individual and shared interests, promote transparency, and provide peace of mind. Consulting with a qualified family law attorney is advisable when considering a prenuptial agreement, as they can help ensure it is legally sound and fair to both parties.

If you would like to book a consultation with a family law lawyer, schedule one today!


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