A cohabitation agreement is a form of domestic contract. Like the pre-nuptial agreement and marriage contract, it is a form of assurance, where the couple ‘hopes for the best, but plans for the worst’.
Such agreements tend to be common for couples who have learned about the pitfalls of a divorce on their finances, the hard way, ie. by going through a bitter divorce, or separation themselves.
The distinction between a cohabitation agreement, pre-nuptial agreement, and marriage contract is the status of the parties’ relationship at the time of the signature of the agreement.
The agreement will typically be referred to as a cohabitation agreement if parties are living together, with no current intention of marriage.
As things such as custody and access cannot be contained in a domestic contract, the main issues found in such contracts normally relate to the protection of income (spousal support waivers), and the protection of assets (homes, properties, pensions, RRSPs, investments, cash, automobiles, household furniture etc).
Though such contracts may appear straight forward, ensuring they are enforceable by the courts is a task which requires the assistance of experienced family law counsel.
Attempting to prepare these agreements without the assistance of a seasoned family law lawyer can have very costly consequences in the future. I am a strong believer in the phrase: ‘Save now, pay later’. If something is important to you, pay to have things done properly.
To learn more, contact me at 613.841.9099 ext. 1 and schedule a free, confidential, initial consultation.