Marriage and Cohabitation Agreements

Negotiating and Drafting Marriage and Cohabitation Agreements

Whether starting a marriage or moving in with a partner, your financial security is important. Couples in Ontario can use domestic contracts such as marriage contracts or cohabitation agreements to preserve their financial interests and alleviate the strain of potential future strife.

Cohabitation and marriage agreements enable spouses and partners to further define their relationships, set out their expectations about property rights and future support, and address other issues that could become complex in the future should the relationship breakdown. The law office of Thomas J. MacLennan, Barrister & Solicitor, offers more than 35 years of experience in reviewing, negotiating, and drafting marriage contracts, cohabitation agreements, and other domestic contracts for clients throughout Ontario.

Informative and Trusted Marriage Contract Lawyer

A marriage contract (sometimes called a prenuptial agreement or post-nuptial agreement) can be established in anticipation of marriage or once spouses are already married. Toronto marriage agreement lawyer Thomas J. MacLennan assists clients with creating comprehensive marital agreements that address issues such as:

  • Property rights of both parties, and how those rights shall be defined in the future, including whether a property is separate and not entitled to be shared if the augmented value of the separate property shall be considered separate or marital property, and how rights to marital property shall be allocated
  • Spousal support rights and obligations, including whether spousal support/alimony should be waived or implemented, and how obligations shall be determined if the marriage is lengthy or where one or both parties have acquired considerable wealth
  • Rights of children in an estate where one spouse has a child or children from a prior marriage or relationship that he or she wants to ensure receive protected inheritance interests in the event of death of the parent

Certain issues, such as child custody and access and exclusive rights to the marital home cannot be decided in the marriage agreement.

Knowledgeable Ontario Cohabitation Agreement Lawyer

Unmarried partners have rights and dignity. They may define their relationship through a cohabitation agreement. Unmarried couples may define their relationship and create their protections provided proper procedures are followed.

Creating a cohabitation agreement allows unmarried partners to ensure their financial and property rights are protected. Issues frequently addressed within a cohabitation agreement are like those found in a marriage contract, and may include:

  • Property rights on the breakdown of the relationship
  • Ownership of property
  • Financial support
  • Rights of children in an estate
  • Keeping future disputes out of court through alternative dispute resolution (ADR), such as mediation, arbitration, or “med-arb” process.

Thorough and Responsive Legal Guidance

Toronto domestic contract lawyer Thomas J. MacLennan handles all aspects of reviewing and creating cohabitation and marriage agreements. Additionally, our firm handles contract challenges when a contract is attacked by one of the parties as inequitable or unfair, or when a party has failed to provide full disclosure at the time the agreement was created.

Marriage contracts and cohabitation agreements can provide protection and peace of mind for people with children from prior relationships, or who bring significant assets into the marriage — particularly family business assets or intergenerational wealth. Our family law firm offers close personal attention to each client regardless of the issues involved in the case. Contact our Toronto marriage agreement lawyer through our online form or call 416-591-1354 to arrange a consultation.