Marriage or cohabitation agreements are agreements entered into by couples who are planning on living together or marrying. These agreements can be made prior to the marriage/cohabitation or during the marriage/cohabitation with the main purpose being to protect assets such as property, brought into the relationship by one or both parties. A proper marriage or cohabitation agreement sets out how you will address issues that could arise if you separate in an efficient and cost-effective manner. These agreements can include a wide variety of provisions however most couples tend to focus on financial issues such as:
– Excluded property
– Managing joint accounts
– Spousal support
– Division of debts
– Joint property acquired during the relationship
It is important to have an agreement in place if you want to set out your own rules as to how you want to address how things will be handled upon separation. Agreements are only effective and enforceable if they are done properly which means disclosure by both parties and independent legal advice. The cost is minimal compared to what could be at stake without a valid agreement in place.