Marriage Contracts & Cohabitation Agreements

When you get married you are entering into a binding legal agreement with your spouse and it’s important to know what that means. There is legislation setting out the way in which you must support each other financially and share in the value of your assets if there is a breakdown in the relationship.

You and your spouse may prefer a different approach and, if you both agree, you can contract out of some of these rights and obligations so that you can choose a regime that better meets your family’s needs.

Marriage contracts can set out your mutual intentions with respect to division of property, spousal support and the matrimonial home in the event of a separation or on death.


Cohabitation Agreements

Living with your spouse can also trigger certain rights and obligations in family law, although the law treats spouses who live together differently from those who are legally married regardless of the length of the relationship.

A cohabitation agreement will ensure that you and your spouse both know what to expect during the relationship and in the event of a separation. You can create binding agreements with respect to spousal support, sharing financial responsibility for your home and the way in which you will share in the value of your home and other property going forward.


Strong, Reliable Agreements

Marriage contracts and cohabitation agreements are vulnerable to claims that they should be set aside when spouses separate. For this reason it is imperative that both parties have independent legal advice, and that both spouses make full and complete financial disclosure.

At Berry Gage LLP we know what makes a good agreement that will stand up to legal scrutiny (and we are not afraid to tell our clients when the agreements they want to make may leave them exposed in the future).

For more information about marriage contracts or cohabitation agreements please contact Fiona Bryan at 905-338-7941 ext. 230 or fbryan@bgfamilylaw.ca.


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