What, you may ask, does one have to do with the other? Here is the answer. Debbie and Don are engaged and planning their wedding. They plan to live in a condo in Leslieville which Debbie had purchased 10 years earlier. She had worked and saved up every penny to buy the condo and is pleased that – at age 35 – she is a condo owner. Debbie and Don – both 35 – know that, given the high divorce rate, they should have a Marriage Contract (termed a “Prenup” in the U.S.!).
Their respective lawyers explain to them that, if they should separate down the line and are living in the condo when they separate, even though the condo is in Debbie’s name, it is called the “matrimonial home.” Their lawyers explain that the law is that the matrimonial home equity is to be shared 50/50 between Debbie and Don in the event of a separation.
Debbie and Don both feel that, in such event, it would be fair that Debbie should be able to keep her investment in the condo i.e., the funds that she put into the matrimonial home. This can include the funds that she put into the matrimonial home up to the date of marriage, and/or other parameters.
The way to ensure this is to have a term in the Marriage Contract that Debbie keeps her investment in the condo up to the date of marriage.
There are other important terms that Debbie and Don can have in their Marriage Contract. Mediation is one of several processes available to the couple to negotiate their Marriage Contract. In Mediation, the Mediator must take into account the sensitivity of parties in negotiating their Marriage Contract.
If Debbie and Don’s situation rings a bell with yours, please feel free to contact me to enquire about my Mediation Services.
Until next time!
Anne Freed holds a BA (Honours Sociology), JD (Juris Doctor, Law Degree), Master of Laws Degree (LL.M.) in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Certified Specialist in Mediation (FDRP Med), Certification in Collaborative Practice, Advanced Training in Mediation, Arbitration and Collaborative Practice, as well as over 35 years’ experience in the practice of Family law, Mediation and Arbitration.
© Anne E. Freed, October 2023