Cohabitation Agreements and How They Work in Alberta

Are you wondering how cohabitation agreements work in Alberta? Do you think that you need an agreement like this for your relationship? Maybe, you are wondering what cohabitation agreements are, who they are for, and how they are like a prenuptial agreement?

We want to help you fully understand how matrimonial property is divided with your common-law partner and what you can expect whether you are married or not.  Learn more about your rights in common-law relationships (adult interdependent relationships) and how cohabitation agreements work.

With this in mind, no two situations are identical. Every couple is different, so every pre-arranged relationship agreement will be different, too. If you need assistance with cohabitation arrangements or want to learn more about this area of law, contact our skilled team of family law attorneys.

At Chahal Raj Law, we can help you decide which division of property, cohabitation, prenuptial, and matrimonial agreements are best for your unique situation. Whether you are engaged, dating, in a common-law relationship, or married, we will help you work out the legal arrangements that best fit the needs of you and your partner.

What is a Cohabitation Agreement?

Cohabitation agreements are often made by those in common-law relationships and are very similar to prenuptial agreements. Cohabitation agreements allow committed partners who decide to live together to contractually agree to a division of property arrangement. These arrangements are often flexible, with legal clauses that suit both parties.

For instance, the cohabitating couple can agree to share equally any of the property they accumulate during their relationship in the event of separation. They can even specify the property to be shared and how much each person will get.

These flexible arrangements allow both partners to confidently acquire wealth and property throughout their relationship without the fear that in the event of a separation, one partner or the other will take advantage.

Who Should Have a Cohabitation Agreement?

To put it simply, cohabitation agreements are prenuptial agreements for people who are in a common-law relationship. Without cohabitation agreements, cohabitating couples would not have legal protection in the event of a break-up.

Cohabitation agreements are best for couples who both have assets that they wish to protect when beginning a relationship. However, if neither person in a couple has assets at the beginning of the relationship, it may not be necessary to draw up an agreement.

What is an Adult Interdependent Relationship?

To have a relationship of interdependence means that each member in a couple shares their life and is emotionally committed to the other person. These relationships also have economic and domestic functional significance. In a nutshell, it means that both of the members of a couple depend on one another.

Interdependent relationships can also mean that if partners separate, one or both partners could be significantly disadvantaged. Just like with married couples, in a relationship of interdependence, two people work together to build a life and acquire property.

What Happens If I Don’t Have a Cohabitation Agreement in Alberta?

Legally drafted cohabitation agreements help keep you and your common-law partner protected in the event of a break-up. If you don’t have one of these agreements, your ex may have a legal claim to your shared assets. You may also be held liable for any debt you and your partner acquired together.

Is a Cohabitation Agreement Equal to a Prenuptial Agreement?

In many ways, a cohabitation agreement is like a prenup. However, prenuptial agreements are different in that they often involve key family law rights. For all intents and purposes though, they are the same. Discussions about prenuptial agreements equally apply to those on cohabitation agreements.

The Importance of a Cohabitation Agreement Between Unmarried Couples

Cohabitation Agreements are important for common-law couples because they ensure that both partners have the protection they need if their relationship goes south. These agreements can drastically simplify the dissolution of a relationship and the division of property.

Since January 1, 2020, common-law partners have had the same legal rights as a married couple when it comes to the division of property. In the same way that a prenuptial agreement protects the matrimonial property of a married couple, cohabitation agreements help with the division of property for each common-law partner.

Call Chahal Raj Law in Edmonton for Assistance with Cohabitation Agreements and More

Would you like to discuss the process of making a legal cohabitation arrangement with your common-law partner but don’t know where to start? Call our law office and we will work hard to help you draft the ideal customized agreement for your unique relationship.

Visit our Contact Us page or call our team at (780) 447-2799 to find out more.

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