What are prenuptial contracts in Alberta?
A prenuptial contract or prenuptial agreement is an agreement between two individuals who are intending to marry. If the couple intends to live common-law for a period of time, with the potential to marry, the agreement can cover terms addressing the law of unjust enrichment as well as the Divorce and Matrimonial Property Acts. Due to their significant impact on your rights and obligations. There agreements should be drafted and reviewed by lawyers.
What is Included in a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial contract outlines the parties’ intentions with respect to their interests in property, including assets currently owned by either or both of them, and assets that may be acquired in the future. A prenuptial agreement may also cover responsibilities for the minor children that either may have from previous relationships, partner support obligations, and provisions for how the parties will manage their finances and expenses throughout the relationship.
Prenuptial Contracts and Alberta Law
It is important for couples to understand how the law works, upon breakdown of a relationship, as people entering into a relationship without an agreement will be subject to those laws. For example, the law states that any increase in the value of an asset is subject to equal division (subject to a few exceptions) notwithstanding the contributions by each party (the law applying to common-law relationship is slightly different and should be discussed with a lawyer).
It is particularly important for mature couples who are entering into marriage later in life to consider a prenuptial agreement. Those individuals typically have family considerations outside their current relationship, and often have built up substantial assets (or debts) through their efforts and decisions.
What Happens if a Person Passes Away and There is No Agreement?
Couples should also be aware that if they do not have a prenuptial contract in place, then upon death of one of the spouses, the estate is subject to substantial claims by the other pursuant to the Wills and Succession Act. This may be problematic for an individual who has children from a previous relationship, maybe even grandchildren. It is advisable to discuss estate matters with a lawyer when considering a prenuptial contract.
The Advantages of a Prenuptial Contract
A prenuptial contract can help to create harmony in a marriage by outlining the parties’ expectations at the beginning, and reduce discord upon the possible breakdown of the relationship.
Kahane Law Office Lawyers Can Help.
Need help with a prenuptial agreement? We can help. Both parties will also have to have independent legal advice. Under the Matrimonial Property Act in Alberta, this is required for the prenuptial contract to be binding. CONNECT NOW. We can be reached toll-free at 1-877-225-8817 (or 403-225-8810 locally in Calgary, Alberta), or email us directly here.