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Cohabitation Agreements

We Help You Know Your Rights

Cohabitation Agreements are becoming increasingly important as the number of unmarried couples who reside together expands. A Cohabitation Agreement is a contract between two people who are not married but are residing together as a couple.

The agreement sets out and provides for the rights and obligations of each of the parties, should the relationship come to an end. While a Cohabitation Agreement is not required by law in Ontario, it can help protect each parties’ interests, should the relationship end.

If you are considering entering into a Cohabitation Agreement, there are several issues that you should be made aware of.

What Is A Cohabitation Agreement?

A Cohabitation Agreement is a document that outlines the rights and obligations of unmarried couples who reside together. The agreement can address financial matters, property ownership, and other issues. Some couples may choose to enter into one before they move in together or after they have already been living together for some time. Cohabitation Agreements are not legally binding in all jurisdictions, but they can be used to help couples resolve disputes, upon a separation. In some cases, a court may enforce some provisions, if it is found to be fair and reasonable.

Do I Need A Cohabitation Agreement?

There is no law in Ontario that requires couples who are residing together, have a Cohabitation Agreement in place, however, there are many good reasons why you might want to do so. The agreement can clearly set out provisions that will protect both you and your partner, financially, if your relationship ends.

If you own property together, this agreement can help you decide what will happen to the property, upon separation. Without one, the law around the issue of property for non-married couples can be difficult to apply.

Cohabitation Agreements can also spell out how you will deal with finances during your relationship. For example, you can one to decide who will pay for what expenses, how much each of you will contribute to savings, and what will happen to any debts that either of you have or may incur throughout the relationship.

Moreover, if you have children together, a Cohabitation Agreement can outline how you will care for them and make decisions about their upbringing. This can be especially important if one parent works outside the home while the other stays at home with the children.

Entering into a Cohabitation Agreement does not mean that your relationship is doomed to fail. Rather, to the contrary, it indicates that parties are committed to making things. It is also evident that by entering into this agreement, both parties are willing to discuss difficult topics such as finances and child-rearing in a constructive manner. If you are thinking about entering into a Cohabitation Agreement, talk to a member of the Foote law team, to learn more.

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