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Before I enter into a second marriage, what steps should I take to protect my assets?

By: Steven Benmor, B.Sc., LL.B., Family Lawyer

Jurisdiction: Ontario (Canada)

After having experienced the financial consequences of a separation, most people are motivated to avoid this experience again. If you intend to remarry or reside with a new partner, you need to understand the potential financial consequences of the relationship ending.

Here are a few examples.

If you marry your new partner, you may be required to pay spousal support and share the increase, during the marriage, of the value of your assets when you separate.

If you support your new partner while you reside together, even though you are not married, you may be responsible for spousal support when you separate.

When a couple separates, there are many issues that may arise. Many of these issues can be resolved - even before you marry or cohabit - if both spouses agree to enter into a Marriage Contract or Cohabitation Agreement. These documents are written legal agreements, signed by both spouses, that permit partners who cohabit or intend to marry to agree, in advance, on issues such as property division and support, in the event that the relationship ends.

More often, people are getting married later in life or for a second time. If you own property or assets that you wish to protect, or want to avoid paying spousal support after you separate, then you may wish to consider entering into a Marriage Contract or Cohabitation Agreement.

Steven Benmor

About the author: Steven Benmor practices Family Law in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Visit Steven Benmor’s online Family Law Resource Center for concise answers to many more frequently asked Family law questions, feature articles on Family law topics, dozens of links to other Family law websites, and more at The information on this page is for discussion purposes only. It is by no means legal advice or even a statement of the law on this subject. Please do not rely on the accuracy or completeness of this information. Any question or concern elicited by the information on this page should be taken to a lawyer who will consider the facts of each case and the legal remedies available.