Let’s talk about the elephant in the room… a Cohabitation Agreement. A lot of people tend to think that the notion of discussing an agreement prior to cohabitating or marriage is essentially setting up your relationship to fail.
In fact, preparing for your cohabitation or marriage is just like getting fire insurance for your home, you don’t expect your house to burn down, however you acquire fire insurance just in case. A Cohabitation Agreement is the ‘just in case’ contract. You may think, what is the point of having an awkward conversation with my partner? There are many reasons to take the leap and prepare for the worst. You want to ensure that you and your partner have control over whatever direction your relationship takes. A Cohabitation Agreement is a living contract, it lives with your relationship.
You must also be aware that if you are in a common law partnership, you may have fewer legal rights with respect to Martial Property and other aspects that you may not have considered. A Cohabitation Agreement provides the security that the presumptions under the law may not offer you. This contract is not a one size fits all, it is molded to suit your unique family and needs and it is a document that will protect your family if it takes a different route than planned.
Taking precautions allows for strength in a relationship and initiates the difficult questions, such as: how does the equity in the home get divided; do you share the debt equally; what happens to the inheritance left to me last summer? This agreement can prevent litigation if there is a breakdown in your relationship and provide security in your relationship.
Take a moment and discuss what your common law relationship needs. It is a cost-effective way of ensuring that no matter what route your relationship takes, you have a living document to assist you along the way.