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Cohabitation Agreements and Prenuptial Agreements – when are they needed?

Cohabitation Agreements also known as Prenuptial Agreements are needed whenever a couple does not want their affairs governed by the law but rather by their own wishes. Because the needs and wishes of each couple are different, these agreements are more unique than other spousal agreements; like the couple’s fingerprint.

Whether a Cohabitation / Prenuptial Agreement is needed really depends on the stage in life for each spouse and whether they have property they want to keep intact.

As a general rule, young couples who are just starting their careers, have little in the way of savings and debts and have no children from previous relationships and therefore have the least need for such an agreement. That said if one of these young people has family with extensive assets, the family may want an agreement in place to ensure that those assets can never be touched.

On the other hand, older couples who are just starting a life together probably have the most need for such an agreement. One or both partners may have significant assets available to them. There may be children and grandchildren on one, or both, sides. These couples typically want to be able to leave their assets to their own children and cannot do so without such an agreement in place.

And then there is everyone in between.

What is common for all couples negotiating a Cohabitation / Prenuptial Agreement is the need to consider their respective rights and obligations during cohabitation, in illness, in the event of death and in the event of separation. Couples often want very different things in each of these scenarios and so each scenario, and all eventualities, need to be well thought out.

We have assisted in the negotiation of many Cohabitation / Prenuptial Agreements, both as counsel acting for one of the spouses and as a mediator taking instructions from both spouses. Whichever process you prefer we would be happy to help.

Please contact our office to book a free consultation so we can help you craft an agreement that is best suited to your unique situation.