Did you know: Many prenuptial agreements drafted in British Columbia might be invalid? Just because two parties reach an agreement on a prenuptial document doesn’t mean it carries any weight in the eyes of the law.
One of the main objectives when drafting a prenuptial agreement is that’s fair for both parties. Section 93 of the BC Family Law Act explains some of the typical scenarios under which a prenuptial agreement might be invalidated. In this week’s blog, we’re going to look at each of these scenarios in detail.
While this may seem like common sense, a prenuptial agreement has to be written and signed by both parties. This signing process must be witnessed by a notary public or a lawyer. It’s best to work with a reputable family lawyer in this instance.
A prenuptial is only valid if both parties have been completely truthful regarding their financial situation prior to signing. This disclosure will feature detailed breakdown of income, financial assets and bank accounts. It’s not enough to list you have a savings account. Instead, the value must be listed. In the eyes of the law, a prenuptial isn’t considered valid unless both parties have all the facts to hand prior to signing. Keep any papers you have that prove this financial disclosure was made.
Lack of Duress
Like any other contract, entering into a prenuptial agreement under duress is grounds for the agreement to be voided. Both parties must willingly enter of their own free will for the agreement to be considered valid. Significantly, this duress doesn’t have to come from the other party. It can sometimes come from family members applying pressure.
Independent Legal Advice
On a similar note, each spouse needs to understand their rights and the consequences of entering into a prenuptial. The only way this can be achieved is if each party is receiving independent legal advice. At Westside Family Law, we’re standing by to assist. Our years of experience in family law has seen us help clients craft fair and lasting prenuptial agreements.
Both parties (and their legal representation) need proper time to read over the document and negotiate any outstanding issues. A document signed immediately before the wedding takes place can cause issues down the road. Especially if one party was shown to be trying to “force” it through.
Speak to an Expert
At Westside Family Law, we have years of experience with prenuptial agreements. Contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss your needs.