We just released a SECOND version of our very popular cohabitation agreement. Our FIRST version of a cohabitation agreement allows the parties to avoid creating financial obligations arising from cohabiting and terminated when the parties got married. The SECOND version also avoids creating financial obligations on the parties arising from cohabiting BUT continues to remain in full force and effect even if the parties get married. It essentially becomes a MARRIAGE CONTRACT when the parties get married.
Cohabitation Agreement: what’s it all about?
Now, in case you’re wondering when you would use a Cohabitation Agreement, let me explain. If you’re looking to live with someone and you don’t want any financial obligations to arise as a result (e.g. support, division of property, etc.), then you can use a DOMESTIC CONTRACT (that’s what it’s called in the Ontario Family Law Act) called a COHABITATION AGREEMENT. Now, there are different kinds of cohabitation agreements. First, a cohabitation agreement can terminate upon marriage. Indeed, the Family Law Act says that, if the Cohabitation Agreement DOESN’T SAY that it will terminate upon marriage, then it will “be deemed to be a marriage contract” when the parties marry each other (section 53(2))! So, in other words, if the Cohabitation Agreement doesn’t say anything about when the parties get married, then it will still remain VALID AND ENFORCEABLE when the parties get married.
The biggest problem with not addressing the issue of whether the cohabitation agreement will continue after marriage is the failure to deal with certain issues in the cohabitation agreement itself that WOULD OTHERWISE be applicable to married couples. That’s why I created a second VERSION of the cohabitation agreement that would directly deal with the issues that are relevant to married couples. For example, when the parties get married, their “HOME” (which they were using for cohabiting purposes) may become a MATRIMONIAL HOME under the Family Law Act. This will now give the couples certain rights to POSSESS the home, regardless of who owns it or is on legal title. If you didn’t plan ahead and selected a Cohabitation Agreement which doesn’t specifically address the MATRIMONIAL HOME, then you could be in trouble!
Look, I could go on, but if you’re looking for a Cohabitation Agreement which AVOIDS creating financial obligations, then we have two versions: one that terminates UPON MARRIAGE and the other that CONTINUES IF THE PARTIES GET MARRIED. They can both be found here.
Just so you know…each legal form package comes with:
- A lawyer-prepared, customizable, easy to understand legal form
- A legal form in microsoft word, wordperfect, and rich text format
- A video tutorial showing you an example of how to fill out the legal form
- A written guide (26 pages!) that discusses the various issues you should be aware of with respect to cohabitation agreements
- ANOTHER written that talks about how legal forms can be challenged (so you know how to avoid or reduce the likelihood that they will be challenged).
ALL OF THIS would normally cost thousands of dollars from a lawyer to prepare (I should know: I have and continue to do it for clients with respect to cohabitation agreements). But you can have all of this without emptying your pocket book: only $97 plus tax! I would also recommend that you get a lawyer or commissioner for taking affidavits to commission the affidavit of the witness (who is required to see both parties sign in order for the cohabitation agreement to be valid under the Family Law Act). I’ve added a draft affidavit at the end of the cohabitation agreement to make things easy. The cost will be around $20-$40 or so for a commissioner of taking affidavits to commission the affidavit.
Best of all, if you need a lawyer (e.g. independent legal advice, commissioning the affidavit, and adding some customization), you can always make a post on Dynamic Legal Forms. Finally, if you want to become an affiliate and earn 25% commissions on the sale of all of our legal forms, then just check out this post and you can sign up here (you’ll need a website and a paypal account).