Cohabitation Agreement help

Living together can be fun, but without a Cohabitation Agreement, separations can be hell

What is a Cohabitation Agreement?

A Cohabitation Agreement is a written legal document. It reflects the agreement between two people living together in a romantic relationship for two years.  This period may be shorter, if the couple have a child together.

The Cohabitation Agreement is used to organize how the parties share assets and liabilities arising during, and after, their cohabitation period. A Cohabitation Agreement can be entered into any time during a relationship.

There are a number of different ways to prepare a Cohabitation Agreement. However, an Agreement must be in writing and be witnessed.

The Agreement should be prepared with the benefit of legal advice. While some people use “on-line” templates, these Agreements are unlikely to stand-up to scrutiny after a separation.

If you are buying a house together a written agreement is very important. Verbal agreements are not binding when it comes to real estate. You should decide what happen if you break-up and one person wants to keep the property. The court system can sort these issues out, but is very expensive. When preparing a Cohabitation Agreement, it is very important to consider what will happen if the property goes down in value during the relationship. You should also consider a process for assessing the value of the property at separation.

If you already own a house, you will need to decide if the other person will get a share of the value of the house at separation. The law in many Provinces provides a spouse with rights to a property after separation. You can save a lot of trouble by deciding ahead of time, how to deal with  a house.

Michael Butterfield

Collaborative Lawyer & Mediator


Areas of Practice: Family law including separation, divorce, mediation, arbitration, child & spousal support, support variations, guardianship, parenting time, access, property division and more.

Victoria BC