Why is it important to have a marriage contract when I am self-employed?

Did you know that without a marriage contract, the matrimonial regime of partnership of acquests automatically applies?

Indeed, people often wish to celebrate their love in front of all and often forget to question themselves about the legal impacts of marriage. As long as the love and the union between two people persist, there will be no difference between the adopted matrimonial regimes. However, the impacts and the consequences of a regime choice will appear in the divorce, in the legal separation or on the death of either spouse.

But what regimes can the couples adopt? In fact, there are three kinds, but only two are actually used, which are the matrimonial regime partnership of acquests (default regime) or the separation of property. But what is the difference?

It should be noted that regardless of the matrimonial regime chosen, spouses are still subject to division of property with a few exceptions.

Let’s start with the simplest regime; the separation of property. Thus, all goods that were not processed during the separation of property between spouses will be devised according to each ones property on goods. Hence, according to article 487 pf the Civil Code of Québec “property over which the spouses are unable to establish their exclusive right of ownership is presumed to be held by both in undivided co-ownership, one-half by each”.

As for the matrimonial regime of partnership of acquests, all property in the untreated division of family assets are divisible equally between the spouses unless they are considered “private property” by law of one of the spouses. For example, all the assets owned at the beginning of a regime whose husband has the property are called “private property or individual property”. However, are considered “common property” all the assets acquired by the spouses during the matrimonial regime.

Thus, as a simple example, if the couple did not sign a marriage contract and that one of them, is self-employed, generating profits of $ 100,000 during the regime and the spouse is keeping the money in a bank account on his or hers name, he or she should surrender half of the profit to the other spouse during a divorce.

Obviously, it’s a case by case situation and certain exceptions may apply. That’s why it might be wise to discuss it with your legal counsel before saying yes to our beloved.

Text written by Me Roxane Trudel Pigeon / Translated by Andrey Leshyner