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  • prenup

    Good day everyone,

    I am wondering about prenup. Read about it on this site and elsewhere, and wanted to discuss the best possible agreements. The goals are:
    1. Protecting yourself from potential expensive litigations if things go wrong.
    2. Protecting your assets (let's say you have paid off house before you enter into relationships - in Ontario it easily becomes matrimonial home).
    3. Limiting / avoiding SS.
    4. The best thoughts from people experience, hence this topic.

    The same question would be for both - common-law, marriage and dating where you have relationships, you occasionally spent time at his/her place and the other way round, but not officially moved in.

    Obviously it has to be drafted by lawyer, but you need to know what you are looking for.

    Thank you for your responses.

  • #2
    If you're not legally married or living together, there's no need for a prenuptial or cohabitation agreement. Both of these already exist for marriage and common law.

    Outside of celebrities, people don't use dating contracts, and even with celebrities, those typically extend to things like non-disclosure agreements.

    ​​​​​​​I'm not really sure what you're asking?


    • #3
      So from what I am getting "dating" isn't potential invitation to the family court.
      Let's say you own real estate, and start common-law / marriage. From what I understand even if you had it before marriage fully paid (or inherited from your favorite grandma) and you and your significant other moves there after marriage and divorces the day after, it becomes "matrimonial home" in Ontario and being split in half, and prenup won't help you. Are the alternatives, aside of not getting married/having a common-law?


      • #4
        Correct, dating isn't governed by the Family Law Act.

        Equalization, including the matrimonial home, happens when legally married. There can be exclusions and this where a prenup agreement comes in.

        Common law rules on property and asset division are substantially different. This is where cohabitation agreements come in.


        • #5
          Here is what I see online from some law firm. I understand it isn't legal advice or anything, but still:

          One asset that is treated differently under the Family Law Act of Ontario is the marital home. There are certain legal rights under the act that a prenup cannot change.

          The Family Law Act considers the matrimonial home the place where spouses live during their marriage. It is possible to own more than one matrimonial home, such as a primary residence and a cottage. The Act grants both spouses equal rights to live in and possess the matrimonial home as well as the right to share in the value of the home.

          These rights to property are in place regardless of which spouse holds the legal title to the property or who owned the house prior to the marriage.

          (taken from​


          • #6
            You'll find lots of info in the Common Law forum:



            • #7
              Thank you, went over some of the cases.

              I’d like to talk about possibility of moving in together.

              Obviously after being through family court there isn’t particular desire being there again should things fall apart with a new partner.

              Can prenuptial agreement protect you from future claims on _your_ matrimonial home that you own before your partner moves in? This includes raise in cost (I.e. house that cost today 1mln will likely cost 2mln if not more due to inflation some 20 years later if not sooner), mortgage payout etc?

              Same question goes regarding ​spousal support. Common law aren’t spouses, but after two years court will treat you as such.

              I do know any clause about future children custody or CS will be considered as not legal, but what about Matrimonial Home, pension, spousal etc?


              • #8
                There is a sticky in the forum about common law that may be helpful.

                I also note that it isn't just legal clauses to protect you, it's also in the person you pick and discussions about your future. A lot of people have assumptions going in and approach things traditionally in some cases. For instance, one person will be the breadwinner, one person doesn't work, one person has a lot of assets etc. If you want to have a “kept” spouse then you will run into issues. If you continue to pursue a relationship with someone who puts up red flags you may have an issue. If you have expectations for your role or your spouses's role…issues.

                I met my husband a year after his divorce was finalized. I had a pension, a condo, investments and a really good job. He had a house and a relatively good job. We both had a lot to lose and with his history we were both adamant about how we saw the relationship. We agreed it would be equal and we would work together. When we got married we looked at our individual assets and what we saw our future as. Im a child of divorce and have no desire to be divorced myself. We work together on difficulties and challenges. When we struggle, we sit down and discuss and work through challenges together. He and his ex never did that. She treated him like a servant who was only there to support her lifestyle. They had fundamental issues.

                All of this to say, look at your partner, look at how they have lived, consider the expectations and go from there. I know you want to protect yourself but if you are going in worried you can't trust your partner, maybe they aren't the right person for you!


                • #9
                  Appreciate input. I guess I did have this question as a general question in the phase post divorce, before even going out, so it formed as a result of a prior experience. Regardless I met someone with last name Trump or someone less wealthy, as my next partner, I don’t want to hear words “case conference, 14B, 14A, TMC, trial etc” again, even though odds are I will be breadwinner in any relationships.

                  Statistically speaking marriage doesn’t last lifetime, that’s why most of us here - I believe odds of marriage falling apart is greater than 50% in Canada.

                  From what I read (some posts or references here from Jeff) people fighting even when they lived separately, and chances they didn’t expect it to happen when they started their relationships.

                  So I ended up booking a call with a lawyer. If anyone has idea what to ask, and what to include in prenup, or if you know it is just a waste of money, please share your experience.


                  • #10
                    It's going to be a waste of money.

                    Like I said, if you are still concerned about something happening take some time before jumping in again and don't get serious too fast. Plus don't fall for someone who doesn't have anything to lose. And if there are red flags, listen to them!

                    My god the number of red flags my husband's ex had made my head spin. He tells me stuff and I just look at him like “seriously? You didn't run in the opposite direction?”


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rockscan View Post
                      It's going to be a waste of money.

                      Like I said, if you are still concerned about something happening take some time before jumping in again and don't get serious too fast. Plus don't fall for someone who doesn’t have anything to lose”
                      Well, I’ll have this challenge with virtually anyone, unless I meet someone from top 1% earner club, with the house, I’ll either will be potential target for SS or at risk loosing house.

                      And top 1% is only 1%. I wish I could find someone from that neighborhood not because of money, but because it would be a lot easier to understand each other - kinda both earning, both educated and so on.
                      Until then options are either waiting till I eventually get too old and live alone, or risk it with someone more down to earth, even though likely it is a mistake.

                      Why do you think prenup is waste of money? They are not enforceable? Can I just write “no SS, and no ever claims in my house I owned before you moved in”? I mean using legal words and two different lawyers?


                      • #12
                        They would have to prove entitlement to ss. Just because you earn a lot of money doesn't mean they get it. They would have to give up their life to support your goals to be eligible.


                        • #13
                          There’s some good advice on here. But some really incorrect as well. Follow case law! Research canlii website/database.

                          Get yourself a prenup!!! This is an industry of judges and lawyers. They protect their own and the politicians are tied to them. It is an industry based on taking advantage of others. Always protect yourself!


                          Wealthy Ontario man who had a long term girlfriend, who also wasn’t doing too bad her self… she took him to the cleaners and they never lived together. Judge “agreed” that vacationing together and sleep overs was good enough to place common law on them. Most corrupt BS in this country is the Law Society!

                          Always protect yourself… especially when someone says you don’t need to.

                          I’d rather spend $5 then payout $100. And who wouldn’t? You shouldn’t buy insurance for your car too! Or your house! Why? Chances of a car accident or home damage is actually less than finding yourself across a lawyers desk bent over!

                          Research Research and Research! And then buy yourself some insurance!


                          • #14
                            That case is a little extreme. It wasn't a case of separate lives and separate expenses. He was giving her thousands of dollars a month in addition to jewelry, trips etc.


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