What you need to know about the Ontario Cohabitation Agreement[ssba]
If you’re thinking of moving in with your partner, there might be more for you to consider than how to handle your mother in law’s surprise visits! Without the binding agreement of marriage, non-married partners lack the law-conforming certainty of asset and property dividing, should the relationship come to an end. And not that we hope your relationship will end, but rather, want you to be protected in the event that it does. This is where you need to understand the Ontario Cohabitation Agreement.
What Is The Ontario Cohabitation Agreement?
A cohabitation agreement is a signed document completed between two non-married individuals, that currently live, or plan on living, together. It acts to give non-married couples the same rights as married individuals and specifies the rights and obligations of each party in the event that the relationship dissolves. It is important to consider because it deals with ownership and division of property, spousal support obligations, as well as support related to the training and education of children within the relationship. It does not deal with the rights of custody of the children, but barring this, it covers a wide range of critical areas that are fundamental parts of maintaining a healthy and financially safe relationship. You enter into an agreement in the presence of a lawyer (a separate lawyer for both parties), formally engaging in the Ontario Cohabitation Agreement. The lawyer will be able to give you the proper details on what the document entails, what is covered and whether it is applicable and necessary for your specific circumstances.
How Does The Ontario Cohabitation Agreement Impact Me?
While nobody wants their relationship to end, or wishes that upon their partner, it comes back to the classic, “better safe than sorry,” scenario. You can think of a cohabitation agreement as a safeguard against your assets and finances, which will ensure you aren’t left broke, in debt and without a house should things go south with your partner. The conditions of the agreement are met voluntarily by each partner and require specific documents and declarations upon entry, such as tax returns and statements of assets. The impact of failing to enter into an agreement however, can be (literally) life-altering, and more and more people are coming to understand the benefit and importance of these legal documents when not having the legal proposal of marriage. Take a few minutes to consider how this applies to you as well.
Why should I be concerned?
Failure to enter into an agreement, whilst living together as partners, opens each partner up for a series of hardships. You can paint a pretty picture of how your relationship is or will be, but if one member is no longer in said picture, it’s easy for things to turn negative. Worst-case scenario, you are left with nothing and then owe money on top! In essence, the Ontario Cohabitation Agreement is for your own safety and protection, and it is in your own best interest to consider the consequences of not opting to enter into this agreement with your partner.
You deserve a professional opinion
If this sounds like a lot of law gibberish and fancy, legal terms, don’t worry. Here at Galbraith Family Law, our talented staff are professionally trained to help you execute and implement a cohabitation agreement in accordance with Ontario laws. It is worth your time to come in and visit us to discuss whether you do or don’t need an agreement, how to go about entering one, and what documentation is necessary to complete the arrangement.
Take advantage of our services and put your mind at ease: click here to contact us to schedule a consultation.