Planning Ahead with Pre-Nuptial, Marriage and Cohabitation Agreements

Family law agreements are more commonly used at the end of a relationship. Yet, prudent couples can protect their interests by entering into domestic contracts at the beginning of and during the course of the relationship. At Soby Boyden Lenz, our lawyers assist clients throughout Alberta, to make use of these beneficial legal tools.

Marriage Agreements Provide Clarity from the Outset

Contrary to popular perception, pre-nuptial and marriage agreements are not only for the wealthy or famous. Contemporary couples often use them to clarify their expectations of each other in a variety of areas.

Marriage agreements can outline rules that apply during the course of the relationship, such as maintaining separate bank accounts during the marriage. They also allow couples to make their own customized, advanced arrangements in the event of a separation.

This affords greater flexibility outside of automatic provisions contained within the law. For example, a couple may agree that neither party will seek spousal support or that they will not divide their assets in a 50/50 split.

If you turn to us for advice, we will review or draft an agreement to ensure that:

  • Your rights are protected
  • Your mutual wishes are clearly stated
  • The document can withstand judicial scrutiny should problems arise
  • All necessary steps have been taken to ensure the document is enforceable

Using Cohabitation Agreements to Protect Common-Law Partners

Cohabitation agreements can also be used by unmarried couples who live in an adult interdependent partnership. However, since different laws apply to common-law couples, their rights and obligations can differ significantly from the provisions governing married couples.

Particularly in the tricky area of property division, there is not the same presumption of equal division that married couples enjoy. Cohabiting partners who separate are not automatically entitled to an equal share. In some areas of property division, ex-spouses share equally and in others, they do not. If you are cohabiting, our lawyers can help you understand your rights and draft an agreement that protects your wishes and interests in the event of a separation.

Consult with One of Our Lawyers

To consult about family law agreements, call our Calgary office at 403-770-9336 or use our online form to request an appointment.