BACK IN THE COHABIT: The Importance of Cohabitation Agreements

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Posted by heritagelawoffices on Jan 22, 2017 in Blog, Family Law

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Whether you know it or not, under the eyes of the law: you may be in a common law living arrangement. This label entitles each member to minimal protection in case of separation and other forms of estrangement. Relying on these laws is unwise, as the living situation is subject to close examination by a court representative and Alberta common law rules are quite strict. Your end result may not be what you expect! Read our guide below and contact Heritage Law anytime with your questions.

WHAT IS A COHABITATION AGREEMENT?

A notarized document, signed by both parties– two non-married people who are living together. The cohabitation agreement is put in place to provide concrete rights and obligations for each individual, in case the relationship cannot be sustained. These agreements can provide for division of property or wealth, alimony (known as spousal support), forms of child support and other contingencies. Independent legal advice is recommended.

DO I NEED A COHABITATION AGREEMENT?

Are you:

  • Over the age of eighteen;
  • Currently in or about to engage in a shared living arrangement;
  • Interested in protecting your assets or ensuring your partner is cared for after your relationship is over?

If you said yes to these questions: you may need a cohabitation agreement! Other factors can also apply, so ensure both parties receive legal advice.

IS A COHABITATION AGREEMENT EQUAL TO A PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT?

Many couples expect that cohabitation agreements serve the same purpose as prenuptial agreements, due to their similarity. Unfortunately, cohabitation agreements only apply to non-married living partners. If you are currently protected by one such document and you are planning to get married, it is in your best interests to update to a prenuptial agreement.

Are you still curious about cohabitation agreements? Contact or visit Heritage Law today for a personal consultation from our legal experts. We will consult your needs and customize your agreement– we can even refer counsel to your partner.