What are Cohabitational or Prenuptial Agreements?
These are contracts that you enter into with a new partner either before you life together or before you get married. Typically these outline what assets are owned by the parties and how those will be divided in the event of separation. The purpose is to protect the parties ownership rights over those assets after marriage. These agreements can prevent the new partner from gaining an interest in the property you had before. These agreements can also outline Spousal Support obligations in the event the new relationship ends.
When is this recommended?
This is recommended when you have significant income or assets before you enter into a new relationship, and you want to preserve your right to that income or assets in the event the new relationship does not last.
Are these Agreements upheld by the Courts?
Typically if the parties have had full disclosure of each others circumstances before the agreement and proper legal advise upon entering the agreement these are upheld.
When are these agreements not binding or less effective?
These agreement are less enforceable when they involve parenting or child support. The reason is that the court will always consider these things based on the best interest of the children at the time it is before the court. Often this is difficult to predict years in advance, sometimes before the children are born. These agreements are also less effective if there has not been full disclosure or the parties have not had independent legal advise. The enforceability of the agreement may change if circumstances change from when you enter the agreement, like if you sell property that was itemized in the agreement, or you put property in joint names after the agreement.
Our lawyers are able to discuss with you the risks and benefits of these agreements and how to best ensure enforceability of the agreement.