Cohabitation Agreement Q & A
Please note that the information provided herein is not legal advice and is provided for informational and educational purposes only.
So I’ve had a number of people email me over the past little while about our Cohabitation Agreements. Their questions were straightforward enough, but I thought it would be worthwhile to review them here (as other people may have the same question).
Question #1: Is a Lawyer needed to make it legal?
Answer #1: Technically, a lawyer is not required. That said, it’s recommended to have a lawyer to (1) customize and negotiate your agreement according to your specific needs and (2) help ensure that both parties receive independent legal advice (to prevent disputes from arising in the future).
Question #2: Do I need a lawyer to sign this document or notarize it?
Answer #2: For a Cohabitation Agreement to be valid, it must be writing, signed by the parties in front of at least one witness. That witness need not be a lawyer. That said, it’s recommended for that witness to appear in front of a lawyer and SWEAR that they saw the parties signing the Cohabitation Agreement. They will do this by completing and signing themselves in front of a Commissioner for Taking Affidavits (such as a lawyer). In case you wanted to have this done, we’ve included a draft AFFIDAVIT OF ATTESTATION (i.e. the document which the witness can fill out and sign in front of a Commissioner for Taking Affidavits) in the legal form package. We try to think of everything 🙂
Question #3: Why are there 2 kinds of Cohabitation Agreements you have on this website?
Answer #3: One Cohabitation Agreement TERMINATES UPON MARRIAGE and the OTHER Cohabitation Agreement SURVIVES IF THE COUPLES MARRY EACH OTHER. You see, under the Family Law Act, if a couple have a cohabitation agreement, unless that agreement says otherwise, it will AUTOMATICALLY turn into a MARRIAGE CONTRACT and continue to be valid and enforceable during and after the course of the marriage. So if that’s what you want, fine. But if you wanted it to terminate, then you can grab the other one.
Question #4: What’s the cost if I have a lawyer prepare a cohabitation agreement from scratch and negotiate it for me?
Answer #4: I have never seen or heard of a lawyer doing this for less than a few thousand dollars – particularly if there is a lot of customization required and a lot of disclosure is needed.
Question #5: Where can I purchase a Cohabitation Agreement?
Answer #5: Right on this Website! Our Cohab-O-Matic is like Turbo-Tax for creating an Ontario Cohabitation Agreement. Without a Cohabitation Agreement, cohabiting couples may have to battle it out in court to determine their legal rights, entitlements and obligations. You can start the Cohab-O-Matic wizard by click on the “Get Started” button below:
The Cohab-O-Matic is an online questionnaire that takes users through a series of questions about their relationship to ultimately create a custom-tailored cohabitation agreement that is based on the laws of Ontario. It asks questions related to:
- The parties
- The children of the parties
- Date of cohabitation
- Description of significant financial assets, debts and other liabilities (required for a cohabitation agreement to be valid and enforceable)
- The home (ownership of the home, home expenses, leaving the home, selling the home, etc.)
- When the agreement will terminate
- Whether the agreement will become a marriage contract if and when the parties marry each other
- Estate entitlements
- Alternative dispute resolution (e.g. mediation, arbitration, etc.)
As you can see (or perhaps will see), the Cohab-O-Matic is VERY comprehensive and flexible. Once you’ve completed the online questionnaire, you can proceed to PayPal and then, when you’re done paying, you’ll be able to download your custom-tailored Cohabitation Agreement.
And here’s some more value that we bring to the table: you can edit your Cohabitation Agreement for a set period of time afterwards for FREE, you can read a comprehensive and regularly updated eBook about Cohabitation Agreements in Ontario (to better understand your legal rights and entitlements and how Cohabitation Agreements work and what they’re all about), and you can read the mandatory signing instructions at the end to make sure that enter into the Cohabitation Agreement properly.
And you can do all of these things by yourself with your spouse without the involvement of a lawyer or having to spend thousands of dollars on legal fees.
So there you have it: some common questions and answers about purchasing our Cohabitation Agreements for only $97 plus taxes.
What’s next on the agenda? Well: we’re going to be updating our DL Guides for Non Compete and Non-Solicitation Agreements. Stay tuned!