On Wednesday, August 03, 2011 People.com reported that Lance Bass, of the hit boy band N’SYNC, is eager to get married. His eagerness stems from the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in the state of New York. According to People.com “Now that same-sex marriage is legal in New York, Lance Bass is certain that someday he’ll tie the knot.”
However, before he jumps into marriage, there are certain things that Lance Bass should consider. Since his days as a teen heartthrob, when he was one of five members of the worldwide sensation known as N’SYNC, Lance has managed to earn a pretty penny and consequently, he should ensure that his hard work and efforts are protected if he ever decides to obtain a divorce.
In Ontario, domestic contracts (included therein is “marriage contract”) are regulated by the Family Law Act. Section 52 deals specifically with marriage contracts and outlines what sorts of provisions would or would not be enforceable. More specifically, section 52 states:
52. (1) Two persons who are married to each other or intend to marry may enter into an agreement in which they agree on their respective rights and obligations under the marriage or on separation, on the annulment or dissolution of the marriage or on death, including,
(a) ownership in or division of property;
(b) support obligations;
(c) the right to direct the education and moral training of their children, but not the right to custody of or access to their children; and
(d) any other matter in the settlement of their affairs.
Rights re matrimonial home excepted
(2) A provision in a marriage contract purporting to limit a spouse’s rights under Part II (Matrimonial Home) is unenforceable.
In addition, section 55(1) of the Family Law Act stipulates that in order for a domestic contract to be valid and binding it must satisfy the following three requirements:
1. it must be made in writing;
2. it must be signed by the parties; and
Therefore, a validly executed marriage contract could protect Lance Bass in the following ways (but not limited to the following):
- it could protect his ownership and interest in any property he may own. Meaning that he could exclude it from a Net Family Property calculation so that the value of same would not have to be shared with his spouse, unless the property in question was a matrimonial home;
- it could limit or waive his obligations to support his spouse;
- it could limit his obligations to support any children of the marriage or attach conditions to same; and
- it could determine from the outset the custodial arrangements with regards to any children of the marriage.
In conclusion, Lance has a lot to think about before deciding to get hitched!