Creating a Cohabitation Agreement: Don't Miss These Key Points

Creating a Cohabitation Agreement: Don’t Miss These Key Points

Cohabitation is a popular choice for many couples, especially those who are not yet ready for marriage. Cohabitation is when two people live together in a romantic or sexual relationship without being married. While cohabitation is an excellent way for couples to test the waters before taking the plunge, it comes with challenges.

One of the biggest challenges that cohabiting couples face is the lack of legal protection. Unlike married couples, cohabiting couples do not have the same legal rights and responsibilities. This is where a cohabitation agreement comes in. A cohabitation agreement is a legal document that outlines the rights and obligations of each partner in the relationship. In this article, we will look at what should be included in a cohabitation agreement.

Financial Obligations and Responsibilities

One of the most important things to include in a cohabitation agreement is each partner’s financial obligations and responsibilities. This consists of paying rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries, and other household expenses. It is important to outline who will be responsible for paying what and how the costs will be split. This will help avoid any misunderstandings or conflicts in the future.

Property Ownership and Division

Another aspect to consider when drafting a cohabitation agreement is property ownership and division. This includes any property acquired during the relationship, such as a house, car, or other assets. It is important to outline who owns what and how the property will be divided in the event of a breakup. This will help protect each partner’s interests and avoid any disputes.

Debt and Liabilities

In addition to property ownership, it is important to consider debt and liabilities when drafting a cohabitation agreement. This includes any outstanding obligations or liabilities that either partner may have. It is important to outline who will be responsible for paying the debts and how they will be divided in the event of a breakup.

Child Custody and Support

If the cohabiting couple has children, including child custody and support in the cohabitation agreement is a must. This encloses outlining who will have custody of the children in the event of a breakup and how child support will be paid. Remember to consult with a family lawyer to ensure the agreement is legally enforceable.

Medical and Health Care Decisions

Another important consideration when drafting a cohabitation agreement is medical and healthcare decisions. This includes outlining who will be responsible for making medical and healthcare decisions in the event that one partner becomes incapacitated. Consult with a lawyer to ensure that the agreement is legally enforceable.

Dispute Resolution

Finally, include a dispute resolution clause in the cohabitation agreement. This outlines how any disputes or conflicts will be resolved in the event of a breakup. This can include mediation, arbitration, or other forms of alternative dispute resolution. Having a dispute resolution clause can help avoid costly and time-consuming court battles.


A cohabitation agreement is an important legal document that can help protect the rights and interests of cohabiting couples. Consult with a lawyer to ensure that the agreement is legally enforceable. By taking these steps, cohabiting couples can enjoy the benefits of living together while protecting their legal rights and interests.

For legal experts of family law in Abbotsford, get in touch with Pathfinder Law. We take a collaborative approach to family law and reduce conflict by finding a fair, practical solution for all legal issues involving families. Give us a call today!

Disclaimer – The information contained herein is of a general nature. It is not intended to be legal advice and it is not intended to address the exact circumstances of any particular individual or entity. You should not rely on or act upon such information without receiving appropriate professional advice and without a thorough examination of your particular situation.