Cohabitation And Marriage Agreements
Increasingly, couples entering into a marriage or marriage like (i.e. “commonlaw”) relationship are addressing the issues that might arise from a separation at the outset of the relationship or during the course of the relationship. They are doing so by way of a process commonly and variously referred to as a “Cohabitation Agreement” or, “Prenuptial Agreement” or, “Marriage Agreement”. Essentially, these agreements are very similar to one another – their usual objective being to address and resolve issues between the parties should a separation later occur.
These agreements are becoming increasingly popular for a variety of reasons. Firstly, there is a growing awareness amongst parties entering into relationships of the benefits of such agreements. As well, as a result of decisions of the Courts over the past decade or so, there is a generally held impression that these agreements are being upheld by the Courts more often than was the case in past. Finally, as a result of recent changes to the Family Law Act, British Columbia, there is a perception that these types of agreements will garner even more respect from the Courts going forward.
These Agreements can be complex. To better ensure that the Agreement will stand up in the event of a separation, it is strongly recommended that anyone considering entering into an Agreement consult a lawyer before doing so.