October 31, 2019

Legislative Amendments Introduced To Protect Vulnerable Adults From Predatory Marriages

The Government of Saskatchewan has introduced legislation to protect vulnerable adults from financial exploitation through marriage.

Amendments to The Marriage Act, 1995 will allow for an interested person, such as a family member, to ask the court to have a marriage nullified in situations where the person getting married did not have the capacity to consent to the marriage.

“These changes will provide clear direction to family members or other interested parties who are concerned that someone, such as an elderly loved one, has been coerced into a marriage by someone seeking to take advantage of their finances,” Justice Minister Don Morgan said.

The current Act only allows the court to nullify a marriage when one of the spouses was a minor at the time of the marriage.  The legislation does not currently address the inability of an adult to provide valid consent where he or she lacks capacity, or provide legal options for this type of situation.

The amendments also repeal a provision in The Wills Act, 1996 that automatically revokes someone’s will upon marriage, or after two years of cohabitation.

“These changes are about protecting people, in particular seniors, who may not have known that their wills were revoked by marriage,” Morgan said.