How a Cohabitation Agreement Works When Living Together


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Living together with your partner can be convenient and fulfilling, but it can also easily become quite difficult if you ever decide to break up and go your separate ways again. This is because of all the disagreements about your property, savings, or even your debts. To avoid such a conundrum, some couples opt to enter a written agreement of sorts called a cohabitation agreement. This changes everything about how you and your partner will discuss your debts and assets in the event of a breakup. Let’s discover what a cohabitation agreement in Canada is and how you can get one.

What is a Cohabitation Agreement?

A cohabitation agreement is a sort of contract that you and your partner can sign as you start living together. You can put several things in your cohabitation agreement depending on your desire. You can put in the division of personal property or assets that you want. This can include anything from your car, fridge, furniture, debt, personal property like your clothes, and even your income. The basic idea of a cohabitation agreement is to make sure that both of you agree on the division of all these things.

Is a Cohabitation Agreement Legally Binding?

Every Canadian province has their own set of laws that must be followed in a cohabitation agreement. For example, in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, a cohabitation agreement is legally binding. This means that if you and your partner ever decide to break up, both of you will be bound to your agreement to live by it. In other words, if you agree that he gets the house and the savings account, then you will have to abide by the agreement you’ve made.

If you live in a Canadian province where a cohabitation agreement isn’t legally binding—including Ontario, Quebec or Newfoundland and Labrador—that means that both of you do not have to follow what the agreement says. However, this also means that nobody can force you to follow it if you ever break up.

Why Get a Cohabitation Agreement?

Many people prefer getting a cohabitation agreement because most of their property or assets are shared or joint. It is an excellent way to avoid future confusion between both you and your partner. A cohabitation agreement can also be used to make sure both of you have a say in what will be done with your shared assets or property in the event of a breakup.

Cohabitation agreements are not just for marriage or married couples. As a matter of fact, cohabitation agreements are even used by engaged couples or even people who have been in a relationship for a long time but have never lived together before.

The law does not put a limit on the number of partners you can have in your cohabitation agreement. You may wish to have a cohabitation agreement even with distant family members or friends.

How Do You Make a Cohabitation Agreement?

To get a cohabitation agreement, you can either draft your own, or you may hire a lawyer to help you with it. A lawyer can draft an agreement that is specific to your relationship. This is done by asking you about your property, debt and assets. You can also ask a lawyer to include a prenup or postnup in your cohabitation agreement. A prenup or postnup will tell you what will happen with your property or assets should you and your partner decide to get married or get divorced in the future.

It is also possible to have a cohabitation agreement that will not expire. This means that you can simply renew your agreement when it expires, depending on your desire.

If you are in a long-term relationship or are already living together with your partner, it is advisable that you talk with your partner about a cohabitation agreement. You and your partner can decide to both sign an agreement, or you can only sign if your partner refuses and you wish to move out.


Cohabitation agreements can be very useful if you’re already living together. It is a great way to decide what will happen with your assets and property if you and your partner decide to break up. This is why it is always important to take the time and put a cohabitation agreement in writing.

Dreyer and Associates Lawyers LLP works with you to handle all your legal issues, including family law, conveyancing, as well as wills and estates. Our team will work tirelessly to preserve your best interests and to help you overcome any legal matters. Whenever you need a family lawyer in Langley or Surrey, Dreyer and Associates Lawyers LLP is the one to call. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.






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