Protect your right to assets you share with a same-sex spouse.
Axess Law drafts a prenuptial agreement for Ontario couples. If you neglected this simple task before the ceremony, we create a marriage contract for you.
Our family lawyers preserve real property and possessions you acquire together as legally married spouses. We explain your right to exclusive possession of matrimonial homes in Ontario and to split cash, investments or goods like furniture and vehicles if you break up or divorce.
Making a prenup before you wed is not bad luck. It’s just common sense.
Making a Prenuptial Agreement
Same-sex couples have the same rights as any Ontario couple, but planning ahead simplifies breakups. You and your soon-to-be spouse decide in advance how you would divide assets you jointly own or brought into your marriage. Axess Law can write a quick prenuptial agreement that covers all the bases.
Your agreement includes who owns:
- matrimonial homes
- jointly owned bank accounts
- business shares
- stocks, bonds or other investments
- RRSPS, RRIFs and TFSAs
- furniture or vehicles
- and personal possessions like pets.
You cannot force your spouse to leave a matrimonial home, change the locks or include a cheating clause in prenuptial agreements. But you can apply to the court for exclusive possession to live there on your own or, if you are joint owners, sell the home and share any profits.
And, you can change or cancel your agreement any time you like. Axess Law drafts a new prenuptial when yours no longer fits your lifestyle.
Including Retirement and Survivor Benefits
Don’t forget pension benefits. Your prenup is explicit on divorce and pensions in Ontario:
OAS and GIS
Provided you were legally married, you could qualify for a share of your partner’s Old Age Security (OAS) and, if your income is low, Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) benefits.
Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
Couples can voluntarily share CPP retirement pensions or apply to government for a slice after separating or divorcing. CPP credits may be split when you separate or divorce. Your share is based on contributions you made while you lived together. Even if only one of you worked, you may still be able to “credit split.”
CPP Survivor’s Pension
Deceased partner? You can apply for the CPP survivor benefit. You may also qualify if you were separated and your spouse had no other partner when they died. Talk to your spouse’s estate trustee, or court-appointed administrator if they had no Will, about the Canada Pension Plan death benefit. CPP makes a one-time, lump sum payment to contributors’ estates. You may be eligible to receive it.
GIS Allowances for Survivors
If you’re not yet 65, but have a low income and your spouse has died, you may qualify for the GIS Allowance for the Survivor. GIS monthly allowances for spouses, including survivor’s benefits, start at age 60.
Axess Law includes employer pensions in your prenuptial agreement.
Mahrs and Canadian Law
If you’re Muslim and planning a nikkah, include your mahr in your prenuptial agreement. Canadian courts have found mahrs that meet legal standards for civil contracts are valid and binding. Your nikkah must be performed by an Imam registered or authorized by the province to be legal.
Getting Spousal Support
Your spouse may make more than you or have worked while you studied. That could give you a claim for spousal support under Ontario’s Family Law Act and federal Divorce Act.
Spousal support is not forever. You’ll be encouraged to become financially self-sufficient as quickly as possible.
The court will review your financial resources and needs, how long you were married and who took care of the home or children. Court orders or arrangements you’ve already made, like where you will live post divorce, are part of the court’s decision.
Your Axess Law prenuptial agreement sorts out issues in advance, for your and the court’s convenience.
Caring for Children
When you have biological or adopted children together, you can ask the court to determine who will care for the children and support them financially.
Parenting time and decision-making responsibility (formerly called access and custody) can’t be included in prenuptial agreements. Instead, courts decide what is in your children’s best interests. That could mean your children live with your spouse exclusively or part-time with each of you.
Even if you leave Ontario or live in another country, you may be required to pay child support until your children are at least 22 — longer if they have disabilities and are financially dependent on you.
A prenuptial agreement helps clarify your financial resources so when the court asks, you know what each of you can bring to separation or divorce. Axess Law has Ottawa and Toronto parenting time lawyers who can advise you on Ontario family law.
Letting Family Court Decide
Without a prenuptial agreement, Ontario family court may be the arbiter of how your property is distributed. A judge will use the Family Law Act to calculate the value of assets you acquired as a couple, minus those you owned pre-marriage. The difference is divided. When you want a say in how your relationship ends instead, Axess Law writes a prenuptial agreement that deals with property division in divorce.
Flat Rate Legal Fees You Can Afford
Axess Law keeps our fees affordable to make getting legal advice less intimidating. You pay far less than you would at traditional law firms.
Call us for a free quote on making a prenuptial agreement. If you’re currently sharing a lawyer, we offer independent legal advice for $349.99. Uncontested divorces are $699.99 plus court fees.
Online Virtual Video Calls Anywhere You Are
Axess Law has remote online family lawyers who can video conference with you anywhere in Ontario. We’re available 7 days a week for day or evening appointments that fit your schedule. Booking is easy and convenient. It takes you just minutes of your time.
Call Our Local Lawyer Line
Dial our 1-647-479-0118 lawyer line or toll free to 1-877-402-4207 to make a virtual online appointment or meet with us in person at any of our Greater Toronto Area Axess Law locations or in Ottawa. We have onsite parking and easy access to public transit.