When preparing to get married, you make many business deals. You sign contracts for the caterer and the florist. You may negotiate with a photographer and the musicians. In the end, you and your spouse sign a licence to signify your legal bond. It might not seem romantic to think of your marriage as a business arrangement, but in a way, that’s what it is.
The time when that feels truest is when the marriage is ending in divorce. While the focus at the beginning of the relationship may be love and romance, at the end it is property and rights. Unfortunately, at a time when you must be making critical decisions, you are likely dealing with overwhelming emotions. This is why it is a wise idea to consider a marriage contract (perhaps better known as a “prenuptial agreement” or “prenup”).
The benefits of family law agreements
It may seem unromantic, but many divorcing British Columbia couples are glad they signed marriage contracts when they were still in love and desiring the best for each other. Through a marriage contract, you and your partner can protect individual inheritances, a family business or separate assets. You can decide many practical issues without the stress of a dissolving partnership. You may be unable to imagine how difficult a divorce could be, and resolving some of those challenging issues beforehand can avoid adding more pain.
Of course, there is no avoiding the fact that a prenuptial agreement may anticipate a future you may never have. Not only may you be among the fortunate couples whose marriage flourishes, but the terms to which you agree may also not apply later in your marriage when you may need to rely on the agreement. This is one reason why it is wise to seek the assistance of a legal professional instead of relying on a computer-generated form.
Family lawyers have experience assisting couples with marriage contracts, and by consulting one you may obtain solid advice about making your contract personal and relevant to your needs.
Even if you are planning on cohabitating instead of marrying, a contract may be in your best interests. Similar to a marriage contract, a cohabitation agreement can protect the rights and property of both partners. These contracts are popular when a couple’s incomes are disparate or when they have a non-traditional arrangement, such as a polyamorous family. However, any couple may benefit from an agreement that offers protection and security in the event the relationship should end.