Recently, prenuptial agreements have been seeing an increase in popularity. Younger generations, particularly, have been going down this route before living together and tying the knot. For the best interests of soon-to-be-spouses wanting to become potential parents, it is beneficial to learn about child support and whether it is appropriate to include it within a prenuptial agreement. Find out everything you need to know here before contacting a child support lawyer in Calgary

Understanding Prenups with a Child Support Lawyer in Calgary 

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement or “prenup” is a legal agreement entered into between two people prior to marriage. This agreement may outline how property is owned, and by whom, during the marriage as well as how property and debts will be divided in the event of separation or divorce. Such agreements can modify the default provisions for addressing property division in a divorce or separation under the Alberta Family Property Act.  The default provisions typically result in an equal division of assets between the parties but this may not be what each of the parties want.. Although entered into before marriage, a prenuptial agreement only becomes effective and enforceable after separation.  

Can You Exclude Child Support in a Prenup?

One issue that family lawyers in Calgary continually address in prenups is the parenting of children and particularly child support for them. Specifically, can you include in your prenup that you won’t have to pay child support if you and your spouse have children and later separate or divorce? The short answer is almost always “no”. It would not be a legally-binding agreement if it said that no child support would be payable from one party to the other.  Under Canadian law, child support is the right of the child – not the right of the parents. What exactly does this mean? It means that in almost all cases, parents cannot make an agreement that removes or limits a child’s right to receive support; any clauses in the agreement that would purport to do so would be unenforceable.

What Is Included For Child Support in a Prenup?

So, what can you include if you can’t waive or vary the right to the payment of child support in a prenup? The answer is that you can address how child support will both be calculated and paid. For example, you could set out how income will be determined for calculating support or specify the frequency and payment method. 

It’s important to note, however, that even if you address child support concerns in your prenup, those will only be enforceable if they are consistent with the law in place at the time the agreement comes into effect. That means that if the prenup sets out a child support arrangement significantly different from what would then be ordered by a court, it may not be enforceable.  

For example, let’s say you and your spouse agree in your prenup that you will pay a fixed amount of child support each month, regardless of your income or your child’s needs. If you later separate and the court determines that the appropriate amount of support is higher than the fixed amount you agreed to in the prenup, you may be ordered to pay the higher amount.  To ensure that your agreement has a higher likelihood of being enforceable when it comes to issues of child support, we recommend that you seek legal advice from a family lawyer in Calgary who can assist you.

There is a brighter future ahead with McLean Legal Family Lawyers. As your dynamic, multi-service family law firm in Calgary, McLean Legal Family Lawyers can offer you personalized legal services tailored to your particular circumstances. We endeavour to resolve matters quickly and with minimal conflict, offering calm, professional, and realistic advice. Given our years of experience in family law, we can assist with your child support, spousal support, divorce, mediation, and separation agreements, as well as civil litigation issues, commercial/corporate services, and real estate transactions. With over 30 years of experience and success, we’re the Calgary family lawyers that offer you a brighter future. Book your free consultation by calling 587-353-2632.