fbpx

Settle Now Online Blog

The Importance of a Cohabitation Agreement in Saskatchewan

In today’s evolving society, more couples live together without getting married. While this arrangement works well for many, it’s crucial to understand the legal implications of cohabitation in Saskatchewan. One of the best ways to protect both parties in such a relationship is through a cohabitation agreement. But why is this necessary, and what does the process involve?

It’s important to consider a Cohabitation agreement. Couples that live together longer than two years are deemed spouses under The Family Property Act and the Family Maintenance Act (it may be sooner if they have a child together.) What the law says may not suit your or your partner’s needs. A properly drawn Cohabitation Agreement allows you and your partner to set your own terms.

Why is a Cohabitation Agreement Necessary?

  1. Legal Clarity and Protection:
    Property and Asset Division: Without a cohabitation agreement, the division of property and assets can become contentious and unclear. The agreement outlines who owns what and how assets should be divided if the relationship ends.
  2. Debt Responsibility: It specifies each partner’s responsibility for debts incurred during the relationship, preventing future disputes over who owes what.
  3. Financial Security:
    Spousal Support: The agreement can define the terms of spousal support, if any, that one partner might owe the other, providing financial predictability and security.
  4. Financial Contributions: It can also clarify how each partner will contribute to shared expenses and financial obligations.
  5. Peace of Mind:
    Avoiding Future Conflicts: By addressing potential issues upfront, a cohabitation agreement helps prevent conflicts and misunderstandings, ensuring a smoother and less stressful relationship.

When is a Cohabitation Agreement Necessary?

A cohabitation agreement is especially important in the following situations:

  1. Long-Term Relationships: The longer you live together, the more intertwined your lives and finances become. An agreement helps manage these complexities.
  2. Buying a House Together: If one of you owns a house or you’re buying one together, clarifying what happens if your relationship ends saves many headaches and prevents misunderstandings.
  3. Significant Assets or Debts: A cohabitation agreement can protect both parties’ interests if either partner has substantial assets or debts.
  4. Children from Previous Relationships: If children are involved from previous relationships, the agreement can help clarify financial responsibilities and inheritance issues.
  5. Protecting Inheritances: Under Saskatchewan law, gifts and inheritances are generally shared. You can change that in your Cohabitation Agreement.
  6. Business or Farm Ownership: If either partner owns a business or farm, the agreement can protect those assets from becoming part of a contentious division of the assets.

The Process of Creating a Cohabitation Agreement

  1. Discussion and Agreement:
    Open Communication: Both partners should have a candid discussion about their expectations and financial matters. This ensures that both parties understand the importance of the agreement and are on the same page.
  2. Financial Disclosure:
    Transparency: Both partners must fully disclose their assets, debts and income.
  3. Legal Advice:
    Independent Legal Counsel: under Saskatchewan law, you both require independent legal advice to ensure the agreement qualifies as an Interspousal Contract. Otherwise, the agreement may not be valid, or it may have limited effect.
  4. Drafting the Agreement:
    Detailing Terms: The agreement should clearly outline how property, assets, debts, and financial responsibilities will be handled. It should also address spousal support and any other pertinent issues.
  5. Review and Signing:
    Final Review: Both parties should review the draft with their lawyers to ensure that all terms are acceptable and understood.
    Signing: Once satisfied, both parties sign the agreement in the presence of their respective lawyers, making it legally binding.

Conclusion

A cohabitation agreement is an essential tool for couples living together in Saskatchewan. It provides legal clarity, financial security, and peace of mind by outlining the division of assets, debts, and responsibilities. By taking the time to create a well-drafted agreement, couples can avoid future conflicts and protect their interests, ensuring a stable and harmonious relationship.

For those considering cohabitation, consulting with a family law professional can provide invaluable guidance and help craft an agreement that meets both partners’ needs.

Book a Consultation Today!

Related Posts

Search

Is Settle Now Online Right for You?

Find out in 3 minutes

Why Settle Now Online

Brad was recognized by the Government of Saskatchewan as a Family Mediator, Family Arbitrator, and King’s Counsel (K.C.) as being “learned” in the law. Brad is also a Collaborative Lawyer and believes that the two of you can come to a solution effeciently with the right guidance.

Brad was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada for Family Law.

About Brad

Brad Hunter, K.C.

Brad is dedicated to helping your family separate with dignity and recognizing what is best for both of you. For more than 40 years Brad has been practising family law helping families find solutions for one of the most difficult problems they can face – the end of a marriage. Brad believes that the two of you can come to a solution that best fits the needs of you and your family.

Is Settle Now Online Right for You?

Take the free quiz to find out if Settle Now Online is the right fit for your situation. As a bonus, you will also receive our Moving Forward Guide via email.

*Estimated time to complete: 2-3 minutes

Enter your email address now to download The FREE

Moving Forward Guide

In this FREE Guide, you’ll discover and learn everything you need to know about the law, kids, support, and property.

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe.