Forward-Thinking Family Law Lawyers Representing Clients During the Negotiation, Drafting and Enforcement of Cohabitation Agreements

In Ontario, the law permits unmarried persons who are cohabiting to enter into contracts that specifically provide for what rights and obligations they will have as a result of their relationship. Unmarried couples may choose to enter into a cohabitation agreement for the protection of both parties. A cohabitation agreement can help prevent litigation and extra costs in the event of the breakdown of the relationship.

What are the Benefits of a Cohabitation Agreement?

As revealed in the latest census figures, the number of common law relationships in Canada continues to surge, and we will undoubtedly see a corresponding increase in the number of couples opting for a formalized cohabitation agreement.

This is significant since couples who live together, but are not married, are not included in the section of Ontario’s Family Law Act which states that property accumulated during the marriage must be equalized. In some circumstances, an equalization claim can be pursued by unmarried parties through the common law trust doctrines and through claims focusing on unjust enrichment. Common law partners may be entitled to spousal support and child support in the case of the dissolution of the relationship. However, a cohabitation agreement is one of the best ways for an unmarried couple to ensure in advance the fair division of property in the event of separation.

What is Included in a Cohabitation Agreement?

The terms of a cohabitation agreement provide assurances to each party on matters such as:

  • rights to share in the other’s property;
  • support obligations to each other; and
  • entitlement to share in the other’s estate on death.

It’s important to note that a cohabitation agreement can turn into a marriage contract, and continue to be valid, if the parties marry at some point in the future.

If You Are In A Common Law Relationship, contact Our Family Law Lawyers for assistance in drafting Cohabitation Agreements

Contact Gelman & Associates today to learn how our forward-thinking family law lawyers can protect your rights and assets in the negotiation, drafting and enforcement of cohabitation agreements. With six offices conveniently located throughout Aurora, Barrie, Downtown Toronto, Mississauga North York and Scarborough, we are easily accessible by transit and off-highway. Call us at (416) 736-0200 or  1-844-736-0200 or contact us online for a confidential initial consultation.

From the Blog

Latest posts from the Gelman & Associates blog


Common Law Spouses and Claims for Constructive Trust

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently grappled with the important question of when a common law partner’s claim for a constructive trust interest in a home may or may not be allowed. What Happened? The parties were common law partners who had cohabited for 15 years, from 2000 to 2015. At no time did the …

Read More

Court Finds Severance of Divorce Would Not Result in Disadvantage for Ex-Husband Who Will Lose Health Benefits  

An Ontario court recently ruled on a motion filed by a wife who wanted to sever her claim for divorce from her claims for collateral remedies. The husband in question opposed the motion, arguing that he would no longer receive medical benefits from the wife’s insurer once they were divorced and wanting all outstanding issues …

Read More

Agreements to Arbitrate in Family Law

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently considered the question of when a court may or may not find that an order to arbitrate a family law dispute is enforceable. What Happened? The parties were separated and had been involved in a family law matter since 2014. In August 2016, the parties and their counsel …

Read More


Questions? Send us an email

Contact Form - Home