1. Discuss what legal issues you want to put in your agreement

What is a cohabitation agreement?
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1. Discuss what legal issues you want to put in your agreement

You and your partner need to talk about the issues you want to put into your agreement.

You might not feel comfortable asking your partner to sign a cohabitation agreement. But it is important to sign an agreement if you want to change what the law assumes will happen during your relationship or after it ends.

For example, you might want your partner to sign an agreement saying that they won’t make a claim to your family business if you separate.

The most common issues covered in these agreements are property division and spousal support.

Sometimes cohabitation agreements are signed because one partner:
• is bringing a lot of assets into the relationship that they want to protect if the relationship ends
• has a special type of property that they want to protect, such as a family cottage or family business
• has children from an earlier relationship or other commitments that they want to take care of

Common-law partners don't usually share property when they separate. You might want to change this by agreeing to share property in a cohabitation agreement. For example, you might want to share property as if you were married even if you don't actually want to get married.

You May Also Need

​CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario)
Reviewed: August 4, 2016

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