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Featured Question

Will my divorce affect my pension?

Under the Ontario Family Law Act, a pension is considered “property” and is valued in accordance with the Pension Benefits Act. Following the breakdown of a spousal relationship, Ontario law provides that each spouse is automatically entitled to a share of the other spouse’s pension. This is so because pension plans form part of the family assets which are to be equalized upon separation or divorce.

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Most Recent FAQs

Are marriage contracts enforceable?

Marriage contracts are legally enforceable when it is a product best characterized by full and fair negotiation, financial disclosure, intelligibility and conformity with the principles of contract law. In other words, the proper steps are taken to ensure each party made a full, fair and informed decision when agreeing to the terms of the marriage contract. When a Court satisfies itself of all of this, it is highly unlikely a party challenging the marriage contract will be able to set it aside.

 

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Does my marriage contract have to be a fair bargain?

It should be quite self-evident that a marriage contract is in essence a contract. As such, general principles of the law of contract apply. One such principle in particular which may adequately answer this question is the doctrine of unconscionability – the idea that the bargain in a contract ought not to be unfairly one-sided to the point of shocking the Court’s conscience.

With this in mind, it seems a marriage contract should not unduly favor one party’s interests over the other. The problem is that this is the goal of... MORE »

I do not like my marriage contract. Can a court overturn it?

When a party to a marriage contract is not satisfied with the terms of the agreement, he or she may seek to “set aside” the contract. Section 56(4) of the Family Law Act prescribes the circumstances in which a Court may grant such relief, setting aside the entire agreement, or certain provisions.

According to s.56(4), a Court may set aside a domestic contract (for e.g., a marriage contract) or provision therein:

  1. if a party failed to disclose to the other significant assets, or significant debts or other liabilities, existing when the domestic... MORE »

What is required for a marriage contract to be binding?

In Ontario, a marriage contract will be legally binding if the following conditions are met:

  • It is in writing;
  • Each party made full and frank disclosure about their financial situation to the other;
  • It is entered into voluntary, meaning no duress or undue influence;
  • Each party had legal capacity and understood the contract;
  • Each party received independent legal advice;
  • The bargain is not unconscionable; and
  • It is properly signed in the presence of witnesses.
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