What is a Cohabitation Agreement?
A Cohabitation Agreement is a contract usually dealing with what will happen when a common law relationship or marriage ends. It can also deal with how things are to be handled during the relationship. A Cohabitation Agreement is usually made prior to couples living together. Should common law couples decide to get married the Cohabitation Agreement can act as a Prenuptial Agreement. The main reason couples enter a Cohabitation Agreement is to give themselves a level of certainty on how property is to be dealt with if the relationship terminates. A Cohabitation Agreement can also deal with issues relating to spousal support “alimony.” Some couples may also include in a Cohabitation Agreement such things as how finances are to be dealt with during the relationship etc. Usually Cohabitation Agreements do not deal with issues relating to guardianship of children, child support etc. as courts tend not to enforce such clauses in Cohabitation Agreements.
What are the Advantages of having a Cohabitation Agreement?
- Cohabitation Agreements give you certainty and peace of mind on how issues are to be resolved should the relationship break down or the death of a spouse.
- A Cohabitation Agreement can preserve premarital property and financial assets.
- A Cohabitation Agreement can protect family heirlooms by keeping them out of the family estate.
- A Cohabitation Agreement can help protect a family business.
- A Cohabitation Agreement can protect children of a previous relationship, who may not otherwise be entitled to family property on death of a parent or the termination of the relationship.
- Having a Cohabitation Agreement can save you a lot of money, as litigation can be very expensive especially if it involves a long drawn out court battle.
- Having a Cohabitation Agreement can save you time as opposed to a lengthy court process should the relationship end.
- With a Cohabitation Agreement you participate in the determination of issues as opposed to having a judge impose a decision for you.
- People are more inclined to adhere to a Cohabitation Agreement than from the decision of a judge.
- Cohabitation Agreements can be a flexible way of resolving issues arising from the termination of a relationship.
- Cohabitation Agreements can be tailored to your specific situation.
- By having a Cohabitation Agreement there is less stress or potential disagreements should the relationship end. As many of the issues have already been dealt with in the Cohabitation Agreement. A Cohabitation Agreement also helps preserve relationships.
- A Cohabitation Agreement is a respectful way to develop an understanding of each other’s wishes and desires should the relationship end or should there be a death of a spouse.
- A Cohabitation Agreement can also minimize disputes regarding how finances are dealt with during the relationship.
Who should have a Cohabitation Agreement?
The reality is that most relationships end. It is strongly recommended that anyone who comes into a marriage-like relationship with property or children from a previous relationship should have a Cohabitation Agreement. Thus a Cohabitation Agreement is necessary to protect your financial situation and your children.
What are the costs of drafting a Cohabitation Agreement?
The cost of drafting a Cohabitation Agreement is based on an hourly rate. By filling out the Cohabitation Agreement Intake Form you can save us time which translates into substantial savings for you. Our hourly rate is $295 per hour plus applicable taxes. We do not charge for such things as photocopying, faxing, secretarial services, and long distance telephone calls, which can save you hundreds of dollars more.
Why use M.J. O’Nions Lawyers & Mediators for writing my Cohabitation Agreement?
We have expertise in drafting all types of Family Law Agreements such as Marriage Contracts, Cohabitation Agreements, Prenuptial Agreements and Separation Agreements. We will do this in a cost effective manner while providing high quality professional service. We understand your needs and what you are going through. We are here to help. Just give us a call at 604-449-7779 so we can be of assistance.
How do I Start the process of having my Cohabitation Agreement Drafted?
For more information, see our blog post Why a Prenuptial Agreement or Cohabitation Agreement is Essential under the Family Law Act.