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Pre-plan property division with a marriage agreement

A marriage agreement is not the kind of thing two starry-eyed newlyweds discuss across a bistro table at a British Columbia ski resort. It is, however, an important topic for any married couple, especially after assets have accumulated over the years. Though no happily married couple wants to get a divorce, it may be comforting to know that if it should ever happen, the complex and contentious matter of property division is already dealt with.

Like its well-known counterpart, the prenuptial agreement, a marriage agreement (or postnup) allows a couple to make practical decisions about their assets in case of a divorce. It may be possible to make better decisions while still on good terms than it would be after a marriage has gone sour. A predetermined course of action can save time and money in the future.

An advantage a postnup has over a prenup is it's new and better reflects the financial situation as it stands currently. Things change over time: perhaps one or both spouses have started a business, or there has been a major inheritance. Assets change and often become more valuable, which may mean a new plan is in order.

There's nothing unusual about making a marriage agreement about property division, even long after the wedding is over. Rather than seeing it as a self-fulfilling prophecy, one might choose to view it as a form of insurance; one hopes to never cash in, but it is comforting to know it's there, just in case. In order to set up a marriage agreement that will be truly effective, it may be best to create one with the assistance and guidance of a British Columbia lawyer.

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