top of page


couple meeting with lawyer for cohabitation agreement

According to Canadian census data, the number of cohabitating couples has exponentially grown over the past few decades. Over 21% of couples living together are unmarried.

Are you considering moving in with your romantic partner? You should look into backing your relationship with a cohabitation agreement.

Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of this legal contract and why you should consider getting a cohabitation agreement if you are in a common law or Adult Interdependent Relationship.



A cohabitation agreement is a legal contract that protects you and your partner's legal rights.

Cohabitation agreements bring clarity and legal terms to the dissolution of a romantic partnership. This binding contract will help protect you from a messy breakup. Here are 5 reasons you should consider a cohabitation agreement.

1. Clearly Define Property Ownership

When you move into your partner's home they typically maintain sole legal ownership of the property. Without a cohabitation agreement, you have limited rights to the home if the relationship ends, even if you have been contributing to monthly mortgage payments and household expenses.

Cohabitation agreements allow both parties to decide how to deal with the property if the relationship ends. This may leave one party entitled to compensation for the money they have invested into household expenses or require the house to go up for sale.

2. Define Financial Responsibilities

Finances are always a sticky subject, especially if one partner is financially contributing more to a property. During the cohabitation agreement, you can decide each party's financial responsibilities. By preemptively deciding who will pay certain bills and debts you can deter arguments.

3. Anticipated Asset Division

When entering into a cohabitation agreement, most couples agree that any assets that each partner owned before moving in would remain their separate property. However, things typically get more confusing when the couple begins making joint purchases. By ironing out your assets before you move in together you can proactively decide what happens to the property if the relationship ends.

4. Predetermine Child Support

If you and your partner decide to break up while having children, your cohabitation agreement can give you legal backing for alimony, child care, or compensation. Coming to these agreements on paper before conflict arises can help ensure a smooth transition for your children and deter a major custody battle.

5. Prepare for Unexpected Death

Everyone should proactively create a will because death often leaves a family shaken, and even more so if finances and assets aren't legally tied to a beneficiary. In the event of an unexpected death, a cohabitation agreement will lay some legal groundwork for the passing of your property upon your death.


Before moving in with your significant other you should establish the terms of your partnership. This will help ease tensions while living together and even in the event of a breakup.

No one goes into a romantic partnership hoping for it to end. However, in the event of a breakup a cohabitation agreement can help ensure you and your partner part on good terms.

Contact Dukeshire Law Office serving NW Calgary today for a consultation and get your cohabitation agreement drafted.


bottom of page