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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Most Recent FAQs
While spouses can make any type of financial arrangement in a marriage contract, there are a couple major items which cannot form party of a valid marriage contract. One, parties to a marriage contract cannot pre-determine custody or access to the children. And, two, a marriage contract cannot put any limits on the rights of either party to occupy the matrimonial home. These legal prescriptions are enshrined in section 52(2) and section 52(1)(c) of the Family Law Act, respectively.
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A marriage contract is a prudent and valuable planning tool for protecting certain property in the event of separation or divorce. Some reasons to enter into one include the following:
- To divide property brought into the marriage and property earned throughout the marriage in a manner which differs from that of the statutory regime of equal division;
- To protect one party’s substantial wealth or asset from division with the other party on separation or divorce, or to avoid the complicated exercise of accounting for the increase in the value of existing property,... MORE »
A marriage contract is a legal agreement between two married persons, or two persons who intend to be married. A marriage contract affords some degree of flexibility in deciding property division and support if (or when, in the case of death) the marriage ends. In Ontario, spouses who do not have a marriage contract will be subject to the default regime of “equal division of property” imposed by the Family Law Act on most family property.
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In general, all lawyers owe a duty of confidentiality to their client. The fact that the Children’s Lawyer represents a child makes no difference—the same level of confidentiality is required, subject to exception. Where the Children’s Lawyer suspects the child suffers abuse or neglect while in the course of their legal duties, the Children’s Lawyer has a decision to make. The lawyer can breach confidentiality and alert the Children’s Aid Society, or not. The determining factor is whether the Children’s Lawyer has reasonable grounds to believe there is imminent risk... MORE »