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Why Do I need a Marriage Contract?

Video: Why Do I need a Marriage Contract?

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

Jurisdiction: Ontario (Canada)

If a couple gets together, and on the date of marriage, the husband is worth $10 and the wife was worth $0, and they were together for 20 years. And on the date of separation the husband has gone from being worth $10 to $25. What do we split $25 or $15? The answer is the growth. $15. The husband writes the wife a cheque for $7.50 [($25 - $10) / 2 = $15 / 2 = $7.50] and that is called, in simple language, Equalization of Net Family Property. And that’s how their property rights from the marriage get addressed. So there is property which is what you own and then there is support which is what you earn. So you want to protect two things, you want to protect what you have in the bank, you also want to protect your paycheque. And that’s why do marriage contracts and co-habitation agreements, to protect those two categories. … (click here for more)

Steven Benmor

(’First Take Live’ video clips courtesy of Dan Carter Productions. Original Broadcast: 2007) 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.