Domestic Contracts in Ontario – Marriage Contracts; Cohabitation Agreements; and Separation Agreements

In Ontario, there are different types of domestic contracts to meet diverse situations. These Domestic Contracts fall into three categories: marriage contracts, co-habitation agreements and separation agreements.These Domestic Contracts protect the interests of all parties involved at various stages in the relationship.

Establishing an agreement when entering into a commitment is a means for both parties to agree on ownership of assets and other mutual interests both during the relationship and in the event the relationship ends. Developing an agreement of this nature can prevent misunderstandings and costly legal fees.

Couples are committing to marriage later in life for a variety of reasons and as such, each individual brings to the relationship assets that they may want to ensure are protected. A prenuptial agreement ensures that both parties understand and agree to the wishes of each individual entering into the marriage. While its advisable to sign an agreement prior to the marriage, a marriage contract can be agreed upon at any time during the marriage. This may be something that is considered when one or both parties acquires a substantial asset that they do wish to be affected by the marriage in the event of separation or divorce.

Most people understand that marriage has consequences that affect assets and finances from a legal perspective but did you know that people that are in a common law union, can acquire ownership interests that can be protected with a cohabitation agreement. Again, this agreement is best reached prior to entering into a cohabitation arrangement but can be created at any time during the union.

If you are entering into a change in your relationship, whether you are thinking of marriage, living together or are already together and thinking of purchasing a house, starting a business or have had a significant change to your assets or income, talk to your spouse about establishing a mutual agreement. Developing a plan together while both parties care for one another will ensure each will have an opportunity to come to an agreement in a fair and non-threatening manner.

Finally, Separation Agreements are a form of domestic contract that occur when a relationship is about to end. A separation agreement enables you and your spouse to agree on issues that affect your post-separation life.

You can create your cohabitation agreement, marriage agreement, and other marital and divorce contracts online. If you and your spouse are separating and you have agreed on the issues you can also create your separation agreement online. Consider consulting an Ontario divorce lawyer that specializes in Family Law to insure that your interests are protected. For more information visit or

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