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Marriage & Cohabitation

Marriage Contracts

Marriage brings with it legal rights and obligations that are not always well known or understood. If a marriage breakdown occurs, people are often surprised to learn they have legal rights and obligations they were not aware of. Family law provides a set of rules for married couples for dividing up property and debts and for payment of support. These family law rules can lead to unfair results for some people. Protect your rights and your property in case your relationship breaks down by planning in advance with a Marriage Contract that clearly sets out each person’s rights and obligations. If you are already married, you can still enter into a Marriage Contract that sets out the terms you and your spouse agree will apply if the marriage ends.

The Benefits of a Marriage Contract

In a Marriage Contract you and your spouse can agree on what you think would be a fair way to divide your property and income if you separate or if either of you should die. Having a Marriage Contract allows you and your spouse to decide for yourselves which rules you want to apply for dividing up your property and debts, and regarding spousal support. Without a Marriage Contract, Ontario family law will determine these issues for you. In many situations, the strict application of family law rules can have consequences that neither you nor your spouse would have intended or agreed to when you decided to get married. Marriage Contracts can be especially helpful in the following circumstances:

  • You own a home at the time of marriage.
  • You own a business or have shares in a private business.
  • You earn a lot more, or have significantly more assets, than your spouse.
  • Your spouse has a lot of debt.
  • You or your spouse have children from a previous relationship.
  • You have legal obligations relating to a previous relationship

If you are interested in finding out more about Marriage Contracts, we would be happy to meet with you to answer any questions you have and to let you know more about how a Marriage Contract can help you protect your income and your property. At Morgan and Phillips LLP, we have more than 50 years of combined experience in negotiating and drafting Marriage Contracts.

Anita is an extremely knowledgeable and compassionate lawyer.  She is always very professional and patient in all our dealings with my case.  A true ally to have in difficult situations.  Anita has always been very honest and straightforward, which was appreciated. She does not waste your time and makes sure that what is needed gets done in a timely manner, therefore reducing costs. Thankfully, I had Anita guide me through the process, even when times were very emotional for me.  I highly recommend Anita to anyone who is looking for a fair and peaceful resolution for their case.