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Where does postnuptial agreements fit into Alberta family law?

Prenuptial agreements have become more acceptable, and some Alberta residents who never signed marriage agreements before they got married may have questions about the potential advantages of postnuptial agreements. What are postnups and why would married couples sign them? Also, are they valid under the family law of Alberta?

As with a prenuptial agreement, the law requires such an agreement signed during the marriage to be voluntary. Because they are easier to challenge in court than prenuptial agreements, it might be wise for both parties to have legal representatives to provide counsel before signing such contracts. When it comes to the reasons for creating postnuptial agreements, they are varied. Some couples do it for business or financial reasons, while others use them as lifestyle agreements.

When the financial status of one or both parties changes significantly, there may be interests to protect that did not exist before the marriage. These may include selling or establishing a business, increased investment income, an inheritance or more. Sometimes a postnup is signed as a measure to prevent one spouse from engaging in activities such as adultery, alcohol or drug use. These are commonly known as lifestyle agreements, and they may even be signed merely to allocate chores or settle disagreements over issues related to children or finances.

Regardless of the reason for wanting to draft a postnuptial agreement, compliance with Alberto family law is essential. One way to ensure such compliance is to utilise the skills of an experienced family law lawyer who can provide the necessary support and guidance. An Alberta lawyer can also assess the circumstances, and if the couple could benefit from alternative dispute resolution such as mediation to resolve issues before they become serious, he or she may suggest and arrange it.

Source: thespruce.com, "Postnuptial Agreements", Sheri Stritof, Accessed on June 9, 2017

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