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Parties usually enter into marriage contracts to protect their property and finances in case of a breakdown of marriage. Thus, many marriage contracts deal with property division and support. However, the way such marriage contracts deal with these issues will vary depending on the circumstances and preferences of the parties. For example, one couple may use a marriage contract for the purpose of specifying the property that will be exempt from the default statutory regime while another couple may use a marriage contract to set out spousal support obligations. Thus, there is no uniform model for a marriage contract. Couples make and determine the content of their own contracts.

When assisting couples to draft a marriage contract it is important to have both parties obtain independent legal advice, and to make certain that both parties understand the effects of the terms of the contract. Each party must clearly express their intentions with respect to the contract.

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Take away:

  • Marriage contracts should be drafted in terms that reflect the particular parties’ intentions. Parties should each obtain independent legal advice to understand how a marriage contract can be drafted to best suit their needs.

 

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