Oral Marriage Agreement Upheld in Divorce

Oral Marriage AgreementBrown v Brown 2016 BCSC 1037 held an oral marriage agreement made between the parties to be valid and upheld it in their contested divorce.

The case reads of a high spending whirl wind of a marriage complete with a week rental  $1000 day Lambourgini by the defendant husband Dr. Brown.

The judge quickly stated in paragraph 4 of her 132 paragraph reason for judgement that she found the Drs. evidence “generally to be unreliable and incredible”–“Dr. Brown has little respect for the truth and the affirmation he swore”.

The court upheld the wife’s contention that before marriage the parties agreed orally that neither spouse would make any claim on the assets that they had acquired before marriage and further that they would keep their own finances separate and not be responsible for each other’s debts.

The parties did in fact act in accordance with this agreement throughout their almost 4 year marriage by keeping their assets separate and splitting joint expenses.

The court upheld the oral marriage agreement as it was certain and enforceable.

Such fact situations on occasion arise in estate litigation where a party after death may raise alleged claims .

 

After reviewing the provision of the Family Law act, and in particular sections  92 or 95(2) (b) the court found that whether it applied either section, the result was the same and that neither party could claim a share in the assets they each owned prior to the marriage- in this case a hose owned by the wife.

Better advice would be to get it all down  in writing prepared by a lawyer.

 

If the husband’s testimony had not been so worthless there as no certainty that such a verbal agreement would have been  upheld as a marriage agreement.

Trevor Todd

Trevor Todd is one of the province’s most esteemed estate litigation lawyers. He has spent more than 40 years helping the disinherited contest wills and transfers – and win. From his Kerrisdale office, which looks more like an eclectic art gallery than a lawyer’s office, Trevor empowers claimants and restores dignity to families across BC. He is a mentor to young entrepreneurs and an art buff who supports starving artists the world over. He has an eye for talent and a heart for giving back.

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