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What is the difference between a pre-nup and a post-nup?

The terms “pre-nup” and “post-nup” are only colloquially used in Canada, since they are actually U.S. legal terms.   The proper Canadian name for them is “marriage contract” or “separation agreement” respectively, both of which fall under the general category of domestic contracts.

In a marriage contract, you and your future spouse may set out the rules relating to your upcoming marriage, including what will happen if your relationship breaks down (for common-law couples, the equivalent is a cohabitation agreement). This kind of agreement – which can actually be entered into at any point even after marriage – can cover items like asset ownership or division of property, support, and certain issues relating to children.  Because of the importance of these topics, it’s always better to talk about these matters long before The Big Day.

If you are making a separation agreement, you and your spouse are either contemplating splitting up, or have already done so. The agreement reflects whatever consensus the two of you have been able to reach before embarking on the formal divorce process, on items such as temporary support, child custody, and dividing up your property and assets.

Check out our article: Is It Ever Too Late to Get a Post-Nup?

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