French nationals regularly consult me on the protection agreements they have (as well as their family members) in England. Prospective clients may be concerned to understand that their French marriage contract is not automatically applicable in England, in case of divorce here. There is no legal requirement for parties to receive independent legal advice before signing the agreement, but it is certainly highly recommended. The fact that an individual has received independent legal advice is one of the key elements that reinforce the “link” of the agreement. I encourage my clients to get advice independently of marriage contracts to avoid any problems, such as a party that says, “I didn`t know what I had signed,” “I never had the chance to talk to a lawyer” or “If I had known I was giving up my property rights, I would never have signed them.” All marriage contracts must be registered in the Central Register of Marriage Contracts (CRM). Remember whether you have property or not, marriage creates rights and duties for the life of the union. Cohabitation does not create property rights, but it does create a person`s right to receive marital assistance for the required number of years of marriage assistance after cohabitation (this number varies from province to province). Benefits for employees. Workers` benefits, including pension rights, may be subject to pre-marital agreements between potential spouses, with the exception of those covered by ERISA (Worker Income Security Act 1974, as amended by the Equity Retirement Act 1984). This act of Congress anticipates the laws of the state and requires that the benefits plans of covered workers pay benefits to the worker and his non-participating spouse, unless the spouse renounces it in the manner prescribed by law. There are doubts as to the validity of such exemptions in pre-marital agreements that are executed before the parties marry, because ERISA requires a waiver by a “spouse”. False death.
A cohabitation contract is automatically converted into a compulsory marriage contract when the couple marries. If Sarah wants to protect her business and future growth, she should get Brad to sign a marriage pact. Otherwise, any future increase in the value of the business during the marriage would likely be split between the two parties. Without a prenupe on the spot, if Brad has sometimes helped Sarah do business, then a judge can find that the case is a marital fortune and divide the cases. Sarah must recruit an expert to conduct a business evaluation; Better yet, she and Brad could decide together which expert will perform the evaluation, or each of them could hire their own expert and then both evaluations on average.