Challenging a Prenuptial Agreement

A prenuptial agreement, also known as a marriage agreement or a cohabitation agreement, is an agreement that you enter in before you marry your spouse or before cohabitation with a significant other.

This agreement covers things like property, debt, spousal and child support, and is a guideline as to how you will split your assets and how much you owe the other person (or vice versa) should you and your spouse separate in the future. With a prenuptial agreement, you can prevent further potential conflict during the already emotionally charged time of separation.

But what if, when the time comes, you do not agree with the prenuptial agreement that has already been set? Is there anything you can do about it?

The short answer is yes.

It is definitely possible to challenge a prenuptial agreement in BC. You will first have to file it with the Court. Under section 93 of the Family Law Act, the Court may either set aside a part or all of the agreement and replace it with a new order, provided that one or more of the following circumstances existed when you and your spouse entered into the agreement:

  1. a spouse failed to disclose significant property or debts, or other information relevant to the negotiation of the agreement;
  2. a spouse took improper advantage of the other spouse’s vulnerability, including the other spouse’s ignorance, need or distress;
  3. a spouse did not understand the nature or consequences of the agreement;
  4. other circumstances that would, under the common law, cause all or part of a contract to be voidable.

However, the Court may also decline to replace the prenuptial agreement with an order that is substantially different from the terms of the agreement. It all depends on your specific circumstances under which you and your spouse signed the prenuptial agreement.

If you or a loved one are seeking to challenge a prenuptial or cohabitation agreement, consult Vancouver and Burnaby Family Law Lawyer Andrew Rebane at Resolutions Law Corporation, Burnaby, British Columbia at andrew@resolutionslawcorp.com or 778-372-7107