When you are in love, the furthest thing on either of your minds is that the relationship will end. Instead, everything seems perfect at the very moment. You care for one another, finish each other’s sentences, and are committed to one another.
Yet, when your relationship reaches the point where you are getting ready to propose or consider moving in with each other, this is the time to start thinking about some of the reasons to get a prenuptial agreement or cohabitation agreement in place. A cohabitation agreement functions like a prenuptial agreement, except you and your partner are not legally married, yet live in the same household.
Initially, you may want a cohabitation agreement if you will be living together, and then have that agreement modified to become your prenuptial agreement should you become legally married. This is also known as a Marriage Contract.
Reason #1: Protect assets acquired before the relationship.
If you have investments, savings, stocks, bonds, or other such assets, you may wish to protect these if you acquired them before your current relationship. Once you are married, assets may be treated as joint property in certain cases. This means that if you get divorced, your partner could claim a portion of these assets.
For cohabitating couples, assets are not typically considered joint property, but there are situations where your partner may be entitled to part or some assets acquired during your cohabitation. A Marriage Contract could help protect such assets.
Reason #2: Avoid future disputes and conflicts if the relationship fails.
In the event the relationship fails, you can easily avoid all the conflict and stress that goes into separating and going through a divorce. You and your partner will already know how property will be divided, who will retain the home, and so on.
Reason #3: Protects your children from another relationship.
If you have child support obligations or want specific assets to go to your children when you die, you can ensure these things are not disrupted should your relationship comes to an end.
Reason #4: Protect legal obligations from a previous divorce.
If you have certain legal obligations from a previous divorce, having an agreement in place with your current partner or spouse ensures those obligations continue to be met.
Reason #5: Can help determine who is responsible for debt liability.
Without an agreement, debts acquired during the marriage are normally split evenly, just like assets. For nonmarried or common-law couples, debt liability tends to fall to the person who incurred the debt. As such, this could leave one person with a bulk of the debt liability, even though the other person helped created the debt. With a prenuptial or cohabitation agreement in place, the couple can include how debts will be divided should the relationship fail. Please note, these are just a few of the reasons you should consider a prenuptial agreement or cohabitation agreement. To find out more, or if you have further questions, or need assistance in creating a legally binding prenuptial agreement or cohabitation agreement in Ottawa, contact Davies Family Law Firm at (613) 688-0462 today, for the legal advice and guidance you need, to protect your interests.