FAQs Marriage Contracts

I do not like my marriage contract. Can a court overturn it?

When a party to a marriage contract is not satisfied with the terms of the agreement, he or she may seek to “set aside” the contract. Section 56(4) of the Family Law Act prescribes the circumstances in which a Court may grant such relief, setting aside the entire agreement, or certain provisions.

According to s.56(4), a Court may set aside a domestic contract (for e.g., a marriage contract) or provision therein:

  1. if a party failed to disclose to the other significant assets, or significant debts or other liabilities, existing when the domestic contract was made;
  2. if a party did not understand the nature or consequences of the domestic contract; or
  3. otherwise in accordance with the law of contract.

The most common reason why a party seeks to set aside a marriage contract is if the other party did not disclose a significant asset, debt, or liability when the contract was prepared. Another common reason for setting aside a marriage contract is if one party did not understand the consequences of the marriage contract, or that the party was forced to sign under duress or undue influence.