Prenuptial or “Prenup” Agreements In Edmonton – Get Legal Advice Now To Avoid Problems Later.

Prenuptial agreements are used by people prior to marriage in all kinds of situations in order to protect property or avoid conflict in the event of marriage breakdown. Prenuptial agreements are expressly allowed for in the Matrimonial Property Act of Alberta.  See below. There are many things that can be contained in a prenuptial agreement and one of the great things about them is that they can be totally customized to your exact situation.  Prenuptial agreements often make the most sense with blended marriages, older people marrying and situations where there is a real imbalance in the assets being brought into the marriage.

Cohabitation Agreements

Cohabitation agreements are usually for people who are not getting married but who are living together “common law”.  They are also useful in many same sex relationship situations.

Alberta Legislation on Prenuptial Agreements – The Matrimonial Property Act of Alberta

Here are a few of the sections from the Matrimonial Property Act of Alberta that allow for agreements between spouses.   37(1)  Part 1 does not apply to property that is owned by either or both spouses or that may be acquired by either or both of them, if, in respect of that property, the spouses have entered into a subsisting written agreement with each other that is enforceable under section 38 and that provides for the status, ownership and division of that property. (2)  An agreement under subsection (1) may be entered into by 2 persons in contemplation of their marriage to each other but is unenforceable until after the marriage. (3)  An agreement under subsection (1)(a) may provide for the distribution of property between the spouses at any time including, but not limited to, the time of separation of the spouses or the dissolution of the marriage, and (b) may apply to property owned by both spouses and by each of them at or after the time the agreement is made. (4)  An agreement under subsection (1) is unenforceable by a spouse if that spouse, at the time the agreement was made, knew or had reason to believe that the marriage was void.

RSA 1980 cM‑9 s37

 Formal requirements for agreement

38(1)  An agreement referred to in section 37 is enforceable if each spouse or each person, in the case of persons referred to in section 37(2), has acknowledged, in writing, apart from the other spouse or person                                  (a)    that the spouse or person is aware of the nature and the effect of the agreement,                                  (b)    that the spouse or person is aware of the possible future claims to property the spouse or person may have under this Act and that the spouse or person intends to give up these claims to the extent necessary to give effect to the agreement, and                                  (c)    that the spouse or person is executing the agreement freely and voluntarily without any compulsion on the part of the other spouse or person. (2)  The acknowledgement referred to in subsection (1) shall be made before a lawyer other than the lawyer acting for the other spouse or person or before whom the acknowledgement is made by the other spouse or person.

RSA 1980 cM‑9 s38