Setting Aside a Marriage Contract in Ontario: What You Need to Know
Marriage contracts, also known as prenuptial agreements or prenups, are legal agreements made between couples before getting married. These contracts outline the division of assets, debts, and responsibilities in case of separation or divorce. While marriage contracts can provide protection and peace of mind for couples, they are not always ironclad and can be challenged in certain circumstances. In this article, we will discuss setting aside a marriage contract in Ontario and what you need to know.
Grounds for Setting Aside a Marriage Contract in Ontario
There are several grounds on which a marriage contract can be set aside in Ontario. These include:
1. Unconscionability: A marriage contract may be set aside if it was signed under duress, undue influence, or without proper disclosure of assets or debts. In other words, if one spouse was pressured or forced to sign the contract without a full understanding of its implications, the contract may be considered unconscionable.
2. Fraud: If one spouse lied or made false representations about their assets or debts when the contract was signed, it may be set aside on the grounds of fraud.
3. Coercion: If one spouse used coercion or threats to force the other spouse to sign the contract, it may be set aside on the grounds of coercion.
4. Unfairness: The courts may also set aside a marriage contract if it is unfair or one-sided. For instance, if the contract heavily favours one spouse over the other, it may be deemed unfair and set aside.
Procedures for Setting Aside a Marriage Contract in Ontario
If you believe that your marriage contract should be set aside on any of the aforementioned grounds, you will need to take appropriate legal steps. The procedures for setting aside a marriage contract in Ontario are as follows:
1. File an Application: You will need to file an application with the court seeking to set aside the marriage contract on the appropriate grounds.
2. Serve the Other Spouse: You will also need to serve the other spouse with a copy of the application and related documents.
3. Attend a Court Hearing: The court will schedule a hearing to consider the application and any evidence submitted. The court may also order mediation or a settlement conference to help the parties resolve the dispute.
4. Court Decision: If the court finds that the marriage contract should be set aside, it will issue a court order to that effect.
Marriage contracts are an increasingly common way for couples to plan for their future and protect their interests. However, they are not always foolproof and can be challenged in certain circumstances. If you believe that your marriage contract should be set aside, it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced family lawyer in Ontario. They can guide you through the legal process and help you make informed decisions about your rights and options.