Cohabitation Agreements/ Marriage Agreements
Your Relationship. Your Terms.
To create a happy, positive and comfortable experience for our clients in love, we have created a new branch of our business called: Modern Cohabitations.
See the new website at: www.moderncohabitations.com
Click below to watch our short video about Cohabitation Agreements and Marriage Agreements in BC:
What is a Cohabitation Agreement and a Marriage Agreement?
A Cohabitation Agreement and a Marriage Agreement are the same type of agreement - the difference is that it is called a Marriage Agreement if you have the intention to marry rather than simply live together. You may be familiar with the term Prenuptial Agreement (or "Prenup") which is used in the U.S. and refers to the same type of agreement.
Cohabitation and Marriage Agreements can be very detailed or they can address just a few issues, depending on your needs and preferences. The purpose is to set out how your finances will be handled during your relationship, in the unlikely event of a separation, or when one of you pre-deceases the other.
Why do some people avoid getting a Cohabitation Agreement?
The possibility that your loving and committed relationship might end is a scary and uncomfortable thing to contemplate for sure. For this reason, many people don't want to think or talk about a Cohabitation Agreement or a Marriage Agreement.
There are a lot of other potentialities in life that are unpleasant to contemplate but most of us wouldn't even consider NOT preparing for them.
Nobody hopes to experience a fire, an accident, or an untimely death and yet you probably have more than one of these remedies in place:
Why get a Cohabitation Agreement?
I help people entering into committed relationships create Cohabitation Agreements and Marriage Agreements which put a plan in place just in case the worst case scenario happens. This will ease the stress in the event of a separation because you will have a blueprint for disentangling your finances.
People find these agreements particularly valuable if:
one person has a much higher net worth or income than the other;
one or both of you has children/grandchildren from a previous relationship for whom you would like to protect your estate; or
you would like to decrease the likelihood of acrimony and legal battles if you separate.
Our Cohabitation Agreement Process
A Private & Confidential Initial Consultation for each participant is required by the Law Society.
We will then meet together either by phone, Skype or in person as needed until you have reached the terms of agreement. The average number seems to be 1 - 2 joint meetings for a Cohabitation Agreement or Marriage Agreement.
I will prepare a written Cohabitation Agreement or Marriage Agreement according to your joint instructions. You have the option of obtaining Independent Legal Advice before you sign the agreement (recommended but optional).
The Benefits of Our Cohabitation Agreement Process
The process of discussing these details helps couples to clarify their expectations, rights and responsibilities. It gets topics out in the open that may otherwise be challenging to discuss in day-to-day conversation.
Think about it as similar to buying insurance: you'll be really glad you have it if you end up needing it.
Family Law Issues
In your Marriage Agreement or Cohabitation Agreement, we are able to address rights and responsibilities in 3 different scenarios:
During your relationship
In the unlikely event of a separation
If one of you pre-deceases the other.
We can address all of the issues that are relevant and important to you, including:
How expenses will be shared during your relationship
How property and debt will be handled during your relationship
Your rights and responsibilities regarding property and debt upon a separation
Your rights and responsibilities regarding property and debt upon a death
Whether either of you will have any right to claim spousal support and, if so, how the amount and duration will be determined
Stipulations regarding use and rights to the family home
Terms regarding your Wills and Estates, and whether part or all your Estate will be protected for your children and grandchildren
Other details specific to your families.
If you are interested in a Cohabitation Agreement or a Marriage Agreement, head on over to www.moderncohabitations.com.