Living Together Agreement in Canada: What You Need to Know
As more and more couples in Canada choose to live together instead of getting married, the need for legal protection also arises. This is where a living together agreement comes in. Also known as cohabitation agreements, these documents provide legal clarity and protection for both partners in case of a relationship breakdown or other issues.
What is a Living Together Agreement?
A living together agreement is a legal document that outlines the rights and responsibilities of each partner in a cohabitation situation. It can cover various aspects of the relationship, such as property ownership, financial responsibilities, and the terms of separation or breakup. The agreement is signed by both partners and is legally binding.
Why Do You Need a Living Together Agreement?
There are several reasons why you would need a living together agreement if you are living with a partner in Canada. These include:
1. Protection of individual assets: Without a legally binding agreement, your partner may have certain claims on your property or assets in case of a breakup or separation. A living together agreement can protect both parties from this.
2. Clarity on financial responsibilities: A living together agreement can define each partner`s financial obligations, including bills, rent, and other expenses.
3. Avoidance of disputes and legal battles: A well-drafted living together agreement can prevent disputes and legal battles in case of a separation or breakup.
4. Protection of children`s interests: If the couple has children together or from previous relationships, a living together agreement can outline child custody, support, and visitation rights.
What Should a Living Together Agreement Cover?
A living together agreement can be customized to the specific needs and circumstances of each couple. However, some of the common areas that it should cover include:
1. Property ownership: This includes how property is acquired, owned, and divided in case of a separation or breakup.
2. Financial responsibilities: This includes how bills, rent, and other expenses are split between the partners.
3. Child custody and support: If the couple has children together or from previous relationships, the agreement should outline child custody, support, and visitation rights.
4. Health care and insurance: This includes how health care expenses are covered and who is responsible for insurance premiums.
5. Death and inheritance: A living together agreement can also specify what happens to each partner`s assets and property in case of death.
How to Create a Living Together Agreement?
A living together agreement should be drafted by a lawyer experienced in family law. Each partner should have their own lawyer to ensure fairness and legal clarity. The agreement should be signed by both partners in the presence of witnesses and a notary public.
In conclusion, a living together agreement is a valuable tool for couples in Canada who choose to live together without getting married. It can provide legal protection, clarity, and peace of mind in case of a relationship breakdown or other issues. If you are considering cohabitation, it is essential to seek the advice of a lawyer to draft a comprehensive living together agreement that meets your unique needs.