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Family law: Marriage and finances could be kept separate

A prenuptial agreement can safeguard the finances of an individual whose former spouse would have walked away with more than he or she deserved. Family law rules in British Columbia are pretty definitive on the division of assets upon the dissolution of a marriage unless a prenuptial agreement or a marriage contract stipulates otherwise. Prenuptial agreements have received a bad rap of simply being for wealthy people who want to safeguard their assets from a new spouse, but that is no longer the case.

Prenuptial agreements are becoming more popular with couples who are marrying for the second or more time. With blended families possibly a part of such a couple's life, the individuals may wish to ensure their assets are protected -- just in case. Most people in this situation have already amassed their own assets, which could include property, retirement funds and sizable savings. A prenuptial agreement can help a couple to keep certain aspects of their finances separate.

If broached in a positive way, a prenuptial agreement can actually be an aid for the financial aspects of a marriage. It stipulates which finances are shared and which are to be kept separate. It can also indicate who gets what in the event of a divorce or what happens if one spouse should die. It can be considered a financial road map.

A British Columbia family law lawyer can assist a client in fashioning a prenuptial agreement before marriage or a cohabitation plan if the couple is living in a common law union. The attorney can explain how such contracts work and the provincial and federal laws that govern them. When a couple enters a marriage with a financial plan -- which incidentally can also pinpoint what monies and assets might be commingled as well -- there may be less strife when it comes to the financial aspects of a marriage.

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