If you are planning to start living with someone, are already living with someone or have plans to get married, you may choose to enter into a legally binding agreement (either a Cohabitation Agreement or a Prenuptial Agreement) to determine how you and your partner will handle your finances during your cohabitation and how your will divide your property should the relationship end. This is especially important if one or both of the parties have acquired assets or debts prior to entering into their current relationship.
These types of Agreements allow parties to avoid unnecessary disputes if there is a breakdown in their relationship and may provide both parties with a sense of security in knowing that they have made decisions regarding their property before anger and emotion lead them to take unreasonable positions which will often result in protracted and expensive legal proceedings.
In Alberta, if the parties have a valid Prenuptial Agreement or Cohabitation Agreement that was entered into without any fraud and with the benefit of full disclosure or duress, a couple may choose to forego their right to have a court determine how their property would be divided. Some couples may also wish to explore whether issues regarding support (child support or spousal and partner support) or parenting may be addresses in Prenuptial and Cohabitation Agreements. The law surrounding the inclusion of support and parenting provisions in these types of Agreements is very complicated and as such we encourage you to discuss this with your lawyer.
The lawyers at Matkovic Allan LLP will able to provide you with advice and guidance regarding the preparation of an Agreement that will protect you and provide you with the security of knowing that your property will be protected in the future.