What is a cohabitation agreement?

A is a written document that you and your common-law partner can make before or while you are living together. It is a type of that says how you will deal with issues while you are together or at the end of your relationship.

For example, your cohabitation agreement can say things like how you and your partner will divide your property and if you separate.

If you sign a cohabitation agreement and then later marry your partner, the law says that your agreement automatically becomes a .

A cohabitation agreement or a marriage contract cannot deal with issues about your children. Decisions about children must be made at the time you separate or  and must be based on the . This includes decisions about who gets  and . These used to be called and .

When people separate, they each have an equal right to live in their . A marriage contract cannot change their equal right to live in the home. So if you have a cohabitation agreement about who can live in a home and you later marry, this part of your agreement might not apply.

This information might not apply if you made your cohabitation agreement outside Ontario. A family law lawyer can explain how the law applies to agreements made outside Ontario.


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