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A Cohabitation Agreement is a contract that spouses enter into when they live together or plan on living together. The document is similar to a marriage contract, but it's meant for non-married spouses who wish to deal with their affairs in the event of a breakdown in the relationship. Upon marriage, this agreement turns into a marriage contract. The agreement covers the following:
The right to property division depends on the law of the Province or Territory. The spouses may still agree on property division even if the law doesn't grant that right to non-married couples. In other words, if the spouses don't own the property jointly, they may still agree to an equal sharing of that property.
If the spouses later wish to make changes to this agreement, they can sign an addendum or amendment. Similarly, to cancel the contract, the spouses can sign a separate document to that effect.
HOW TO USE THIS DOCUMENT
The spouses will need to work together to disclose their assets and liabilities to each other and decide how they would like to outline their financial support and obligations towards each other and the children, if any. Assets (property) and liabilities (debts) include a list containing sources of income, employment benefits such as a dental plan, bank accounts, land, vehicles, and more.
The spouses may agree to consult a lawyer before executing the document due to the nature of the fundamental and personal rights involved.
Signed copies of the document should be kept in a safe and secure location such as a safe, bank safety deposit box, or with a lawyer. The spouses should also scan and upload the signed document to a personal computer.
If circumstances change, such as a change in the financial position of one of the spouses, they can sign an addendum to the Agreement to make such changes.
Cohabitation Agreements are a type of domestic contract which is governed by the law of each Province and Territory. For example, the Family Law Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3 governs Cohabitation Agreements in Ontario. In Ontario and other jurisdictions, it is prohibited to include a clause in a Cohabitation Agreement that deals with child custody.
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