Prenups are getting more popular among millennials. What to know before you sign – National |

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Family lawyers who spoke to Global News say they’ve seen an increase in the number of the millennium Opting to sign prenuptial agreements before getting married can save couples a lot of stress and heartache.

“I’ve been practicing for 13 years now, and I would say they are becoming more popular,” said Kirsten Hantuk, a partner at Robertson Stromberg LLP, a law firm in Saskatoon.

“I’m seeing a lot of people in their late 20s, 30s, early 40s who are getting prenups.”

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The legal contract spells out the financial assets of the couple and how they will be divided should the marriage fail.

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Hanatuk said that planning for divorce isn’t the most romantic way to start a marriage together, but it’s just as important as financial planning or any other aspect of cohabitation.

Legal experts say that it is like an “insurance policy” that can not only protect one’s assets but also make the separation process much easier.

“Separation can get very, very messy,” said Laura Paris, an associate attorney at Schulman & Partners LLP, a family law firm in Ontario.

“They can take a significant toll on people not only financially but mentally, emotionally,” she said. “So I think there’s a lot of benefit to doing these things when you still care and still love each other.”

Why are prenups becoming more popular?

The temptation to sign a prenup or marriage contract isn’t just on the rise in Canada.

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Last year a survey was done in America found that an increasing number of Americans reported signing a prenuptial agreement with their partner.

Meanwhile, four in 10 said they support the idea of ​​having one as part of their wedding planning checklist.

There are many reasons why more people – especially the younger generation – are signing prenups.

In Canada, the average age of spouses at marriage has been increasing over the years as people postpone tying the knot.

The average age at marriage in 2019 was at its peak – 35.3 years, according to statistics canada, As per the latest Statcan data, it was 34.8 years in 2020.

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The delay in marriage plans means millennials are coming into marriage with more assets in their pocket, such as a home or perhaps a pension plan, that they want to protect, Hantuk said.

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People also see value in having a prenup if they’re coming from a broken home and living through a divorce, in which case she experienced firsthand how stressful it can be for the whole family. .

Another driving factor is the state of the economy right now with inflation and high interest rates making it difficult for new couples to afford things like groceries and housing.

As the cost of living in Canada has risen, Paris says she is seeing an influx of consultations involving cohabitation agreements, or marriage contracts.

The interest in prenups isn’t just among millennials, who may depend on family support for loans, but also their parents, she said.

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“From my experience, I would say that these questions are coming up more often as a result of the fact that life is expensive right now and (for) a lot of people… the money they are starting their lives with is generational money. “

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It is also about how people approach the marriage contract.

“Millennials are much more practical when it comes to money,” said personal finance expert Rubina Ahmed-Haq. for what it’s worth on the Chorus Entertainment Radio Network. Corus is the parent company of Global News.

“They don’t have as many emotions as, you know, how is it going to make the other person feel?”

Paris said that there is often a negative connotation attached to a prenup, but it can actually be a positive thing for all parties involved. And the sooner you talk to your partner about it, the better.

Since the word prenup can be “very triggering” to a lot of people, Ahmad-Haq said it should be approached with sensitivity.

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“I think making it really clear why you’re asking for this prenup is number one.”

It is especially important to ascertain intent from the outset if it is coming from someone who is in a better position financially and other people’s property is also at stake., Ahmad-Haq said.

“If you have business or money involved with a partner or another sibling or your family, it’s really important to present it in such a way, that it’s really not just about protecting yourself, but It’s also about protecting the business that belongs to someone else,” he said.

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Paris recommends that her clients begin negotiations at least six months to a year before the wedding because negotiations and the final signing of a contract can take time.

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Both the parties should have their own separate lawyers involved in seeking legal advice and facilitating the prenup process.

While no prenup is the same and couples are free to include or exclude whatever they choose, attorneys strongly urge full financial disclosure.

“You want complete transparency on what each party’s holdings are, as well as their income, at the time the contract is drafted,” Paris said.

“If such information is suppressed, it may undermine the validity of the agreement,” he added.

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Spousal support is another aspect that couples can include or decide to leave out of their prenup.

While each case is different, Paris said prenups with spousal support “can be quite tenuous.”

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His advice is to include spousal support when there is a significant income disparity but limit how much is payable in the event of a divorce.

The prenup is also not set in stone and can be changed at any point in the marriage if both the parties agree.

For those without a prenuptial agreement, there are protections set forth in the province’s family laws in case the marriage breaks down.