Comic book characters Archie and Veronica are getting married. The article, “Do Archie and Veronica Need a Prenup,” by Globe and Mail writer, Roma Luciw, poses the question, “Will they get a prenuptial agreement?”
It’s a good question.
A pre-nuptial agreement (also called a marriage contract or a cohabitation agreement) states what will happen should the couple separate. It settles issues such as the division of property in advance of any issues arising and often in a way that is different than a judge would do.
Veronica is the more wealthy of the two so she would be wise to have an agreement in place. In my opinion, family law in Ontario is unfair because if Veronica owns a home on the day of marriage that she and Archie move into as their “matrimonial home” and then they separate, Veronica will have to share the entire value with Archie. It won’t matter that she had, for example, $100,000 of equity built up in the home when they got married. She has to share the whole value of the home with Archie. This is not the case with other assets, just the matrimonial home. I have never thought that was fair.
I can imagine that Veronica’s father may be very skeptical of Archie’s motives. He may accuse Archie of being a “gold digger”. For that reason, Archie may want to have a pre-nuptial put in place just to show that he is marrying Veronica because he loves her (and not just her money).
Pre-nuptial agreements are useful if you want to protect particular assets such as a family business, or you own a home that you and you’re beloved intend to occupy. Sometimes older couples who marry get pressure from their adult children to enter into an agreement so they won’t lose their “inheritance” to the new partner if Gramma and Grampa separate.
A cohabitation agreement is a good idea if you are planning on living together instead of marrying. Common law separations can be complicated since the law is so ambiguous as to the rights of each person upon a separation. An agreement in advance (when you both still love each other) is a good idea so you both know what will happen should you separate.
By the way… Luciw reports that the creators of Archie say there will be no pre-nuptial agreement. I guess everyone is just hoping Archie and Veronica live happily ever after.
I’ve heard that one before!