Prenuptial agreements prior to second marriages

On behalf of Kirk Montoute Dawson LLP posted in Family Law on Friday, April 11, 2014.

It is not a surprise that many marriages in Canada fail. There is nothing wrong with a Calgary couple breaking up and divorcing when they realise they are not right for each other, and for some newly singly individuals, it may be a while before they choose to date again. When they finally do choose to date, move in with or marry a new partner, there are often far more complexities with the situation than their first marriages.

For one, many of these new couples each have their own savings, assets and debts. Although some people are content to sweep financial matters under the rug without discussing them, creating a prenuptial agreement may be an important way to deal with financial matters before they become problems in the relationship. First, by creating a prenuptial agreement, the couple must sit down and talk about all of their assets and debts, as well as their financial goals.

Having a prenuptial agreement also helps protects individuals should they choose to divorce. Instead of dividing the marital estate in half, a prenuptial agreement will often make note of who owned what prior to the start of the relationship. Take, for example, the case of a new husband or wife moving into a home that his or her spouse already owned. Should that new spouse get a significant portion or any portion of the home if they divorce? Most people would say “no.”

If individuals choose to ignore the reasons why their first marriages ended, it is likely that their second marriages may be at risk of divorce, too. By being honest with a future spouse and talking about potential flash points, such as finances, some individuals will be able to avoid future conflict.

Source: Winnipeg Free Press, “Blended family, bending finances,” Joel Schlesinger, April 5, 2014

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