Marriage Agreement in British Columbia
Life is unpredictable and everyday events unfold to us in the most unusual ways. Even the things we are most certain about like our relationships with the significant others can come to an end. It is always in your best interest to think about securing your future in advance.
Marriage agreements can be used to protect you from unexpected debt load, loss of a business, or division of your family trust. Our experienced family lawyers at Thomas and Associates will help tailor the agreement to your specific circumstances keeping yours and your partner’s rights intact. When drafted with high professionalism marriage agreements can help you avoid unintended financial consequences upon the dissolution of a relationship.
What is a Marriage Agreement?
A marriage agreement is a legal contract that outlines each person’s legal rights and responsibilities to the other. If such an agreement exists between people who are already married it is referred to as a marriage agreement. A cohabitation agreement can be between people who are not but who are living together or are planning to live together.
Usually, marriage and cohabitation agreements state the purpose of the agreement and identify both contracting parties. Each side makes binding promises to the other in the event of separation or even during their time together. The time these obligations take effect is up to contracting sides, whether it is on the date the couple gets married, starts living together or signs the agreement. Moreover, there is always an option to sign the marriage agreement after the marriage, if both parties decide it is necessary.
What Issues Does a Marriage Agreement Address?
Generally, marriage agreements deal with financial issues that spouses may face in the event of separation. These include managing and owning property and debts and whether any spousal support will be paid after the divorce or separation. A marriage agreement can specifically state the financial obligations and responsibilities of each party in the event of a separation.
A variety of arrangements can be made for how property, debts and spousal support will be handled. For example, a marriage agreement can state that should spouses decide to divorce, each one of them will keep whatever assets he or she owned before entering the relationship. On the other hand, the marriage agreement might say that in the event of separation one of the spouses can stay in the home that was acquired during the marriage.
A marriage agreement does not deal with child support or how the children born in the marriage will be cared for.
Can a Marriage Agreement be Changed or Canceled?
Parties to an agreement can always change or terminate the agreement at any point in their relationship if both parties agree to it. By drafting what is called an “amending agreement”, the first marriage agreement can be altered or completely replaced with an updated version.
As with the first agreement, for it to become binding it does not only need to be signed by both parties but also requires witnesses be present. Witnesses do not become bound by the marriage agreement; their purpose is to verify that the signatures were in fact made by the contracting parties.
Why choose Thomas & Associates?
Marriage is a relationship fueled by mutual trust and respect. Even in an undesired event of separation, having a personalized marriage agreement can help you eliminate many concerns in advance while saving time and avoiding litigation costs. Moreover, it lets you and your partner decide on how to best manage and divide your assets without bringing this matter in front of the court.
Our qualified family law attorneys can give you legal advice on the complexities of family law and assist you in preparing a marriage agreement that is both strong and fair. It is very important to understand your future rights and obligations before deciding to sign the agreement.