A Cohabitation Agreement is recommended for anyone considering moving in with his/her partner. It can protect one’s current and future property, as well as set or waive one’s rights to support.
The law is changing such that common law parties now require protection just as married partners do. In fact, it is often more complicated and expensive to divide property following common law separation than divorce.
A Cohabitation Agreement will protect you whether or not you decide to eventually marry, and it will determine your property and support issues in the event of separation or death. Cohabitation Agreements are recommended for everyone, including young individuals, given the increasing rate of separation; they are not only suited for older couples or second marriages. The terms of each Agreement can be crafted to suit your specific needs and address your most pressing concerns.
It is a common myth that a Cohabitation Agreement that the parties draft and sign themselves will provide protection in the event of a separation. This is false, even if you each sign in the presence of a witness. In fact, in Canada, the only way you can be protected by a Cohabitation Agreement is when each party has retained his/her own lawyer to provide independent legal advice on the terms of the Agreement.
It is also commonly believed that you cannot sign a Cohabitation Agreement after you have already started living together. In fact, you can sign a Cohabitation Agreement at any stage of your relationship. You can even sign a Post-Nuptial Agreement after marriage.
The peace of mind obtained from addressing the consequences of relationship breakdown or death in advance far outweigh the displeasure and awkwardness of such a discussion. Contact one of our family law lawyers today to discuss preparing a Cohabitation Agreement.