Family Lawyers Drafting Marriage Contracts & Cohabitation Agreements

There are many rules, rights and responsibilities that arise when parties decide to move in together and/or marry. Some of these rights and responsibilities are complicated and many are not known by couples thinking of taking this step. Our family lawyers will take the time to guide clients through the law and ensure clients understand the legal implications of living with or marrying their partner.

Marriage contracts, sometimes referred to as pre-nuptial agreements or pre-nups, are often put into place prior to or at the start of a marriage, to customize the rights and responsibilities that would arise in the event of a separation in ways that suit the client better than the blanket letter of the law. These agreements can set out a variety of factors including the expectations that each spouse has for the other during the marriage and how property will be divided should the marriage end.

Cohabitation agreements are similar, and would be used for couples choosing to live together. Should a couple enter into a cohabitation agreement and then later decide to marry, this document can become their marriage contract, however they can also choose to enter into a new agreement that will override the existing one.

With some exceptions, a marriage contract or cohabitation agreement can put rules in place to govern a variety of scenarios, including the division of property should the marriage or relationship end. As a result, it is crucial that these documents are drafted or reviewed by a trusted legal professional prior to signing. These contracts can address an array of considerations, including:

  • The management of finances during the relationship or marriage
  • Personal expectations that each party has for the other during the relationship or marriage
  • The manner in which assets will be divided upon termination of the relationship or marriage
  • The exclusion of assets from equalization payments

The family law lawyers at Mills & Mills LLP have considerable experience customizing marriage contracts and cohabitation agreements for their clients. Due to the comprehensive service that our firm provides, our lawyers are often very familiar with their clients’ assets, business holdings, and more. This enables them to ensure that all relevant considerations are made when negotiating or drafting the terms of the marriage contract.

Our lawyers work with clients to ensure the proper disclosure of all financial, business and real property assets and liabilities at the outset of negotiations. Failure to provide adequate financial disclosure is one of the primary reasons that these agreements are overturned in court. Conversely, in a situation where the other party may not be transparent with their own disclosure, our lawyers will work to uncover hidden assets.

Contact the Family Law team at Mills & Mills LLP to learn more about the benefits of a Marriage Contract

For advice from a trusted and experienced family law lawyer with respect to marriage contracts, please contact us at 416­-863-0125 or send us an email.

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