Cohabitation Agreement in Calgary

Cohabitation agreements may not be the most romantic topic, but they are a sensible and positive step for couples choosing to live together. Such agreements help set clear expectations and provide a solid foundation for a shared future.

More and more people choose to spend their lives with their partners without getting married. If this is the case for you, you might want to consider a cohabitation agreement. These agreements allow partners in a common law relationship to define how property, debts, and other issues will be handled in the event of a separation.

It offers clear guidelines on financial matters, property distribution, and potential responsibilities, ensuring both parties understand their rights and obligations. However, it’s important to note that this type of agreement isn’t just about anticipating problems. Rather, it’s about setting clear expectations, fostering communication, and ensuring both parties are on the same page. 

Inquire About Cohabitation Agreement
DLegal Law Office - Hands

What is a Cohabitation Agreement?

A cohabitation agreement is a legal agreement that outlines the rights and responsibilities of each partner during the relationship and in the event of a breakup or separation. Essentially, it serves as a form of protection for both parties. It must be freely entered into by both parties with the goal of establishing clear guidelines for the division of jointly purchased property and individually purchased assets, financial support, and other important matters like legal claims on spousal support.

Cohabitation agreements are guided by the Family Law Act and the Adult Interdependent Relationships Act, which is similar to the Matrimonial Property Act for married couples. The Adult Interdependent Relationships Act is governed by Alberta law and provides a legal framework for recognizing and addressing the rights and responsibilities of individuals in an adult interdependent relationship (otherwise known as a common law relationship).

Why You Need a Cohabitation Agreement

Cohabitation agreements provide several benefits and protections for couples who decide to live together outside of marriage. One primary reason for having such an agreement is to clarify financial matters and protect assets in the event of a breakup. Without a cohabitation agreement, disputes over property ownership and financial support can become contentious, leading to lengthy legal battles.

A cohabitation agreement also allows couples to customize their rights and obligations according to their unique circumstances. This flexibility ensures that both parties feel comfortable and secure in their living arrangement, knowing that their interests are protected by a legally binding contract.

Having a cohabitation agreement in place can also help to strengthen the relationship by fostering open communication and trust. By discussing important issues such as finances and property ownership upfront, couples can avoid misunderstandings and conflicts down the line.

Who Should Consider a Cohabitation Agreement

Couples who have significant assets or disparities in income may have an even greater need for a cohabitation agreement to protect their financial interests. Couples who plan to purchase property together or co-mingle their finances should strongly consider creating a cohabitation agreement to clarify ownership rights and responsibilities.

What’s more, couples who wish to establish guidelines for decision-making, such as how household expenses will be divided or how major life decisions will be made, can also benefit from a cohabitation agreement. Complete transparency in financial matters is crucial, necessitating full disclosure of assets, liabilities, and income by both parties.

What is Included in a Cohabitation Agreement?

A cohabitation agreement typically covers a wide range of issues related to the couple’s living arrangements and financial matters. Some standards provisions that may be included in a cohabitation agreement include:

Ownership and Division of Property

Clarifies ownership rights for jointly owned property and assets brought into the relationship by each partner. Specifies how assets and debts acquired during the relationship will be divided in the event of a breakup, governed by the Albert Family Property Act.

Financial Support

Addresses whether one partner will provide financial support to the other during the relationship and in the event of a separation, and if so, the terms and duration of such support.

Household Expenses

This outline outlines how the partners will share household expenses, such as rent, utilities, and groceries.


Establishes guidelines for making significant decisions, such as healthcare, education, and childcare, during the relationship.

Dispute Resolution

Specifies how disputes between the partners will be resolved, whether through mediation, arbitration, or litigation.

Cohabitation Agreement vs Prenuptial Agreement

While both cohabitation agreements and prenuptial contracts serve similar purposes in terms of asset protection and establishing rights and responsibilities, they are designed for different types of relationships.

A cohabitation agreement is specifically tailored for couples who choose to live together without getting married. It outlines the terms of their living arrangement and addresses issues such as property division and financial support in the event of a breakup.

A prenuptial agreement, on the other hand, is created by couples who plan to get married and want to protect their assets in the event of divorce. It typically addresses issues such as property division, spousal support, and inheritance rights.

Prenuptial agreements may also have legal requirements and considerations that differ from cohabitation agreements, as they are governed by marriage laws.

How We Can Help?

Creating a cohabitation agreement is a complex legal process that requires careful consideration of various factors and legal requirements. We are experienced family lawyers who know the ins and outs of the Alberta laws and can provide invaluable assistance throughout the process.

Providing Independent Legal Advice

We can explain the legal implications of a cohabitation agreement and help you understand your rights and obligations under the law. Please note that each spouse must have separate and independent lawyers and may not share one to draft this written agreement.

Drafting the Agreement

We can draft a comprehensive cohabitation agreement that addresses all relevant issues and meets your specific needs and preferences.

Negotiating Terms

We can facilitate negotiations between the parties to ensure that the terms of the agreement are fair and equitable for both partners.

Ensuring Compliance

As your lawyer, we can ensure that the cohabitation agreement is legally enforceable, minimizing the risk of challenges, disputes, and possible future claims.

Providing Representation

In the event of a dispute or legal challenge, we can provide representation and advocacy to protect your interests.


Cohabitation Agreement

INDEPENDENT LEGAL ADVICE $995 (No Children) or $1195 (With Children)

* The flat rate applies to the first draft and does not include GST, disbursements, consultations, revisions, and extra services.

Lawyer & Notary
Anna Dunaeva

Anna perpetually works to surpass her clients' expectations. Through continuous communication, Anna delivers on her commitment to keep clients at the centre of her practice.

View Anna's Bio Explore our People

News & Resources

Subscribe to our Newsletter to Stay Updated on Legal News

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.