Cohabitation Agreements by Province

Cohabitation Agreement Ontario

Cohabitation agreements are governed by section 53 of the Family Law Act in Ontario. This section gives statutory authority for people who are or will be cohabiting to enter into an Ontario cohabitation agreement that sets out their rights and obligations to each other during their relationship and when their relationship ends. The section also states that if the couple marries, their cohabitation agreement turns into a marriage contract (prenuptial agreement).

Cohabitation Agreement B.C.

The situation in British Columbia is quite complicated as family law legislation is in the process of being amended. Currently, family law is governed by the Family Relations Act which does not cover common law couples in BC. However, the Family Law Act, which received Royal Assent on November 24, 2011 is scheduled to take full effect 12 to 18 months after this. The Family Law Act will apply to couples who live together for two or more years. As a practical matter, this makes it very likely that it applies to couples currently in common law relationships, as even if the relationship ends, a partner can simply wait until the new act is in effect and then take advantage of its provisions.

Under the British Columbia Family Law Act, cohabitation agreements are covered in sections 92 and 93. Section 92 states that couples are allowed to enter into agreements in which they divide property and the property can be divided or valued differently than required under the Act. Section 93 sets out the circumstances in which a court can invalidate the agreement, and these include the standard failing to dislose information, taking advantage of a partner’s ignorance, vulnerability, distress or need, or a partner not understanding the agreement. The section further goes on to state that if an agreement is signficantly unfair, then a court may set it aside.

Cohabitation Agreement Alberta

Sections 37 and 38 of the Matrimonial Property Act of Alberta are the provisions that govern a prenuptial agreement. The Matrimonial Property Act does not apply to cohabiting parties but the considerations for a cohabitation agreement are similar to those for a prenuptial agreement.

You’re Invited to Call or E-Mail!

If you’re considering a cohabitation agreement — or have already made your decision — you’re invited to call or email us. We’ll explain for free how you can protect your assets and plan your estate. You can call us toll-free at (800) 407-2570 or email us using our contact form here. We can help you anywhere in Ontario, including Ottawa, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, and Hamilton.


  1. @Emily – Quebec uses a different legal system than the rest of Canada. Quebec law only grants spousal support rights to married people, not common law partners. This has been upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada. However, signing a cohabitation agreement that explicitly sets out spousal support obligations can be done.

  2. Sean Heart says

    Are there different fees charged by you
    for a simple 1 page 2-3 paragraph agreement

    versus a more lenghtly 2-3 page agreement.

    How many witnesses have to witness

    both of us signing the agreement.



  3. @Sean – our rates are flat rates regardless of the length of the cohabitation agreement. You can see them at:

    Each person needs one witness for the agreement.

  4. There is an agreement in place. stating his house he sold and motorhome were his and the place we were living in was mine, all bills pertaining to the house were paid solely by me, the place is also only in my name. He has now squandered all his money and is almost broke — now he has filed for half of my place — will this agreement stand up in court (BC)

    • cohablawyer says

      @Anna – In general yes, if the agreement was drafted by a lawyer, and both you and him were represented by lawyers. You really need a lawyer to go over the agreement with a fine tooth comb, and discuss with the lawyer the circumstances of your ex losing all his money.

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