Tuesday June 17, 2014

Should I Have a Cohabitation Agreement?

Authored by: Jessica D. Chapman Posted in: Family Law

A cohabitation agreement is a contract signed by two parties who are living together, or are planning on living together, and who contemplate the division of their assets and debts, and/or support obligations, if a separation and/or divorce of the parties were to occur in the future.

As a couple sets up a household together, each partner may have certain expectations regarding finances and obligations to each other. One partner may expect that each party will retain their own separate property if the relationship were ever to break down, and that neither party will be obligated to support the other. The other party may have the opposite expectation. If the relationship ends, these incompatible expectations can lead to unnecessary stress, conflict and financial burden.

While some couples may try to have an oral agreement, or perhaps an informal agreement, where the parties draft an agreement and simply sign at the kitchen table, there is a good chance that this agreement would not be enforceable on the breakdown of the relationship. To ensure that you have all your issues addressed and the agreement has the best chance of being enforceable in the case of separation, it is best for you to consult with a lawyer regarding your rights and obligations and have a legal professional draft a solid cohabitation agreement. Both parties should also have independent legal advice.

While it may be unpleasant to contemplate the end of your relationship, having a cohabitation agreement helps to manage each partner’s expectations and ensures that both partners are on the same page with regards to how their finances would be impacted if a separation agreement were to occur.  If, at the time of separation, there is no formal cohabitation agreement, and the parties are unable to agree on a division of assets and debts and/or support obligations and terms, then the parties may end up each retaining counsel, involving the courts and incurring thousands of dollars in unnecessary legal fees.

Connect with a member of our team today to schedule your free half hour consultation. To contact a member of our Family Law team call us at 902-469-9500 or 1-866-339-3400.

Share This Post:

Ask a question about this post.

Any Questions

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Post | Friday February 15, 2019

Digital Assets and Social Media: Are They in Your Estate Plan?

Authored by: Alanna Mayne, TEP Posted in: Wills & Estates

The recent issues surrounding QuadrigaCX and the death of the company’s CEO, Gerald Cotten, is an important reminder that you should ensure your digital assets are included as part of your estate planning.

Read full article
Blog Post | Friday February 1, 2019

The Mamas and the Papas… and Their Parenting Agreement

Authored by: Mary H. Brown Posted in: Family Law

I’m sure I was not the only one who spent a few minutes this weekend listening to the radio documentary “The Mamas and the Papas: How two Ottawa couples became co-parents ” on the CBC’s The Sunday Edition or reading the accompanying article online.

Read full article
Blog Post | Thursday January 31, 2019

The Supreme Court of Canada Strikes Down Mandatory Victim Surcharges

Authored by: Terrance G. Sheppard Posted in: Criminal Law

The Supreme Court of Canada has declared that a Mandatory Victim Surcharge is unconstitutional in that it imposes cruel and unusual punishment on poor defendants, contrary to the protections provided by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Read full article
Blog Post | Friday January 25, 2019

Restrictive Covenants

Authored by: Lauren M. Randall Posted in: Real Estate

When purchasing a new home, it is important to note that some lots have restrictive covenants that apply to them. Restrictive covenants are rules that govern the use of the lot and other lots in the subdivision.

Read full article