What is a cohabitation agreement?

A cohabitation agreement is a legal document that couples in common law relationships can sign to protect their rights and prevent a potentially messy separation down the road. It’s similar to a marriage contract (or “prenup”) but for those in common-law relationships. The cohabitation agreement can be drawn up and negotiated by our lawyers to include what your most ideal financial and family arrangements are upon separation.

What can be included in a cohabitation agreement?

The law in Ontario permits unmarried couples that are living together to enter into contracts that include what rights and responsibilities they will have in their relationship. The cohabitation agreement can provide assurances for:

  • who owns the things you buy while you are living together
  • how much support will be paid if the relationship ends
  • how your property will be divided
  • who has to move out of the home if the relationship ends
  • entitlement to share in the other’s estate on death
  • *It cannot say who will have custody of, or access to, your children. This cannot be legally decided in a contract before the relationship is over.

Contact our lawyers who specialize in family law for guidance in drafting a cohabitation agreement.