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What is the difference between a Prenuptial Agreement and Marriage Contract?

Video: What is the difference between a Prenuptial Agreement and Marriage Contract?

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

Jurisdiction: Ontario (Canada)

We call it in Canada, or in Ontario, a Marriage Contract but in the U.S.A. they call it a “pre-nup” or a Prenuptial Agreement. … It’s not uncommon for people to actually do a Marriage Contract after they get married, it’s just that the bargaining power isn’t as great as it is before you get married. … People are getting married later in life. I mean, our parent’s generation and the generations before them, they got married younger. They both started off with nothing but these days people are getting married a little later in life partly because they’re going to university, they’re starting jobs, they’re starting businesses. And so by the time they actually choose to get married they may actually have some assets. And they want to protect those assets. They want to protect their income. So the Marriage Contract is sort of a document that one can say, “You know what, I love you, I’m going to marry you. But in the event that we go our separate ways, I don’t want half of what I’ve accumulated leaving the door when you leave.” So that’s why people do Marriage Contracts. Another reason is because people are getting married more than one time in life. So, many of my clients … (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.