With Ontario hosting more than 40% of all reported divorces in Canada*, perhaps people should ask more questions prior to getting married. There are fundamental things people should agree on before getting married, and the time to ask those questions and discover things about your significant other is before marriage, not after. Before you walk down the aisle and say ???I do,??? go out on a coffee date and discuss these important topics with your soon-to-be husband/wife.
When you get married in the Province of Ontario, unless you write a marriage contract, each spouse automatically becomes entitled to an equal share of the profits of that marriage, pursuant to Ontario???s property equalization scheme under the Family Law Act.?? This being said, it is important that you discuss how finances are to be handled in your household. Will there be a joint bank account or will you retain separate accounts? If one spouse makes significantly more money than the other, are they each expected to be financially independent? How will bills be handled if one spouse loses their job, goes on maternity/paternity leave, becomes a stay-at-home parent, or is unable to work? Is either spouse bringing debt into the marriage? Do your long-term financial goals align? A high number of divorces are caused by fights over finances, so be certain you have a plan going into the marriage before your fates are intertwined.
The decision to have children is a touchy subject. Some people are set on the fact that they want children, some are just as firm on their stance to remain childless. Although concrete decisions about having children do not need to be made, as sometimes these feelings change, you may learn you or your spouse is physically unable to have children, and accidents happen, it should definitely be a topic of conversation. If someone is set to never have children, that could be a deal breaker for someone else who really wants a family. Find this out before marriage, not after. ??You should also discuss if either parent will stay at home with the children, will the children attend daycare, and what type of school the children would attend.
Religion and Expectations
Religion can play a very important role in many people???s lives. Although not everyone follows their religious laws to the letter, they still may hold strong to some values. Make certain that discussions about religion and the expectations on you as a spouse are had prior to marriage. It should also be discussed how any children of the marriage are to be raised and if both parents agree on the religion choice.
Household Chore Division
It???s not a secret that living together is difficult. Some couples do not last because once they get married and realize how the other person keeps their house, it becomes a game changer. It can go either way: either you are too messy and a complete slob or you are too neurotic about cleanliness that the slightest mess causes a fight. You should go into a marriage with an understanding of what the chore division will be in your household. These are not discoveries you should make after marriage.
These are just a few discussion topics that should be explored before you marry someone. A few in-depth conversations can open you up to what your future may hold and allow you to make an informed decision.
*Statistics Canada http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/famil02-eng.htm