What are Marriage Contracts?
People who wish to resolve their Family Law issues can choose to come to agreement on the issues and put the agreement in writing in a legally binding and enforceable document. This allows the parties to maintain control over the outcome. It is only when the parties cannot come to an agreement that they must resort to the court process (litigation) or Family Law Arbitration (private adjudication) where the decision making power is handed over to the judge or adjudicator.
There are a number of different types of domestic contracts. They include marriage contracts, pre-nuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements and separation agreements.
Separation Agreements - When a couple’s spousal relationship is at an end, the parties can agree in writing as to how they will resolve the issues arising out of their separation. This applies to couples who are legally married and to those who were living “common law”.
Cohabitation Agreements - A couple who plans to live in or is living in a “common law” spousal relationship, can enter into an agreement that will govern the education and moral training of their children (but not custody and access), ownership and division of property and support, in the event that they separate, marry or die.
If the couple gets legally married, the cohabitation agreement becomes a marriage contract.
Marriage Contracts - A couple can enter into a marriage contract to govern certain issues when they are legally married or in the event that they separate or die. The agreement can govern the education and moral training of their children (but not custody and access), ownership and division of property and support.
A Prenuptial Agreement is a marriage contract which is entered into by a couple who intends to marry each other.
Requirements: All domestic contracts require full financial disclosure. We can assist you in putting together the disclosure, which will include financial documentation and valuations.
Each spouse/partner should receive meaningful legal advice from their own lawyer on the proposed terms of the contract and the legal consequences of those terms.
Bortolussi Family Law is located in Vaughan, Ontario and serves the Greater Toronto Area including Woodbridge, Concord, Maple, Kleinburg, Thornhill, Vaughan, Markham, Richmond Hill, Brampton, Bolton, Nobleton, Newmarket, Oxford, Orangeville, Aurora, North York, Etobicoke, Caledon, Whitchurch-Stouffville, King City, Schomberg, Mississauga, Oakville, Streetsville and Toronto.