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The best way to protect your property is to have a Prenuptial Agreement or Cohabitation Agreement before you marry or live together. Prenuptial Agreements are agreements entered into by parties before their marriage. They can also be entered into after the marriage but that is not as common.
Cohabitation Agreements are agreements entered into by parties who intend to live together, or who are living together, but not married. The law has changed in Alberta. As of January 1, 2020 if you have lived with another person for 3 years (or less if you have a child) and separate you have claims to each other’s property like married spouses do. For that reason Cohabitation Agreements are more common now then they were before.
The purpose of these Agreements is to settle now, while you are getting along, on how your property would be divided if you divorced or separated. These Agreements can provide great peace of mind in the short term and save many thousands of dollars in legal fees in the event of a divorce or separation.
It is never too late to have one of these Agreements. If you are married now or in a relationship that will be impacted by the changes to the law you can enter into an Agreement now.
These Agreements are unique because everyone’s situation is different, for example:
The discussions leading up to these Agreements can feel like a walk in a minefield. Trying to maintain a happy relationship on one-hand while discussing important financial matters can be stressful and emotional.
Let us deal with these issues with you. All of our lawyers are trained Mediators with experience in interest based negotiations.
With a Prenuptial Agreement or Cohabitation Agreement in place the relationship can proceed on a much better footing —each of you having the comfort of knowing where you stand if the relationship ended.
Doesn’t it just make sense to handle delicate private matters in this sensitive way?
To start all you have to do is give one of our Registered Collaborative Family Lawyers a call.
So you are married or living together and one of you owns a property, and you are thinking about putting it in joint names. Tread carefully, this can be a minefield.
In my meetings with divorce and common law separation clients I observe that there are typically many divorces occurring at the same time for any one family experiencing separation.
Download the government of Alberta’s factsheet on Family violence during COVID-19
Family Violence Info Line Call 310-1818. Available 24/7 in over 170 languages.
Chat online with the info line at alberta.ca/SafetyChat, available daily from 8 AM to 8 PM in English.
For more info, visit alberta.ca/family-violence-prevention.
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