As we have discussed elsewhere in this blog, the best defence against an attack on the validity of Marriage Contract, is that its terms were fair. There are many other factors that are involved, but more often than not, no other provision is as important. We often will force our clients to be more generous to their intended spouses, than those spouses themselves are asking for to try and dial up the fairness quotient.
This is often done by in the event of the parties separating, we include a provision for some type of a reasonable lump sum payment so that the other party is not left destitute.
In the 2015 decision of Justice Vogelsamg of the Ontario Superior Court in Butler v Butler, he had no difficulty in setting aside a Separation Agreement that had been signed after a 26 year marriage. The wife entered into this agreement, shortly after the separation in which she settled for far less which she otherwise would have been entitled to. The husband had worked throughout the marriage for a major auto manufacturer and the wife had no real employment or any history of employment. While the wife had some general idea as to what the family’s finances were, she had no real independent legal advice and she signed an agreement in which she gave up any claim for spousal support. The husband had no malicious intent, but nonetheless, the deal that he had his wife agree to, was wildly unfair. Not only did the wife release any claims to spousal support, she also gave up her claim against the husband’s substantial pension that he had at Honda, where he had worked throughout the marriage. Sometimes, too good of a deal, is no deal at all.