In Quebec, if you do not have a marriage contract, the default regime is called Partnership of Acquests, which means that all income earned during your marriage will be equally divided in the event of divorce. However, you do have the option to opt for the separation as to property regime, which protects you if you have your own business, investments, are an entrepreneur or intend on becoming one.
A marriage contract is a difficult decision to make, as no one gets married with the intention of get divorced, however it is always a good option.
If you decide to sign a marriage contract before you get married, it must be notarized in order to be valid. This contract can be as detailed or general as you and your partner wish. If it is general, it will ensure that all property that is not included in the family patrimony (Family residence, Furniture, RRSP, Private Pension Plans, Quebec Pension Plan, owned cars) are not subject to being divided or shared and remain with the rightful owner. Therefore, if you have started a company since you were married, or owned a business before marriage, any form of wealth accumulated before marriage or after marriage, those assets and liabilities will remain yours, if you opt for a marriage contract to shelter those assets from being divided/shared in the event of a separation or divorce. The same goes for your bank accounts, saving and checking accounts, investment portfolios, debts – these would all be sheltered as a result of a marriage contract.