Marriage and Cohabitation Agreements

Negotiating and Drafting Marriage and Cohabitation Agreements

Whether entering into marriage, moving in with a partner or maintaining a lifestyle you have lived for years, your financial future is important. Many couples in Ontario are utilizing such domestic contracts 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, lay out property rights, and address other issues that could become complex in the future should the relationship fall apart or one of the parties suddenly pass away. The law office of Thomas J. MacLennan, Barrister & Solicitor, offers more than 25 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 (also known as a prenuptial 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 such as when one spouse has a child or children from a prior marriage or relationship that he or she wants to ensure receives appropriate inheritance interests in the event of divorce or 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 integrity. They do not need the state to define their relationship through marriage. Unmarried couples may define their own relationships and their own protections provided proper procedures are followed.

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

  • Property rights
  • Financial support interests or obligations
  • Rights of children in an estate
  • Whether the agreement shall convert into a marriage contract in the event of marriage
  • Other issues
  • Method of dispute resolution, such as alternative dispute resolution (ADR)

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 felt by one of the parties to be 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.