Consider a Cohabitation Agreement in British Columbia

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Consider a Cohabitation Agreement in British Columbia

Posted By Gary Wade     June 12, 2021    


Couples may decide to enter into a contract that will concern all of their property, debts, and spousal support at any time, though it is most likely to happen at the beginning of the relationship. These can be a responsible and logical method of organizing all of your affairs in case the relationship does not go well. 


Entering Into a Cohabitation Agreement 

Cohabitation agreements will often be signed before a couple starts to live with one another, though they may happen shortly after one partner moves in. The reason to enter into this agreement is to help address some of the issues that can pop up while they live together, or while they cohabit, though it is more likely to cover some of the issues that could arise if the relationship does not go well. 

There is no legal requirement that two people in a relationship create a cohabitation agreement in BC, but many are finding this is a good option to help them out if they do plan to live with their partner. 


Should I Enter a Cohabitation Agreement? 

The main reason why a couple will enter into this agreement is to help protect their separate income and property in case the relationship comes to an end. It could be done to protect these holdings from the other partner, though sometimes it can be a form of protection against the debts of another person. Some of the reasons that a cohabitation agreement is entered includes: 

# The relationship is expected to last a long time.

# One or both sides have a good deal of property that goes into the relationship.

# One or both of the sides has a lot of debt at the beginning.

# One of the parties as an income that is much higher than the others.

# Both sides expect to acquire property during the relationship, such as a business, inheritance, or a gift.

# There are children from previous relationships.

# The parties expect to have a child within two years of living together.

# The parties worry that spousal support will be an issue if they go their separate ways. 

It is generally not a good idea to have one of these agreements when both parties work out of the home, there are no children involved, neither party has a lot of debt or property, and the couple are young. These agreements also can’t deal with parenting time, responsibility of the parents, or child support. 

Entering into a cohabitation agreement is a highly personal experience and is not right for everyone, though it can relieve a lot of the stress you feel about a relationship and worrying about the future. Discuss this with your partner to determine whether this agreement is right for you.