Marriage Contracts/Cohabitation Agreements

Relationship contracts have a number of different names such as Marriage contracts, Cohabitation Agreements, Prenuptial contracts and Relationship contracts. These are Agreements two people enter into to deal with one issue or several issues of the relationship. To ensure such Agreements are binding it is important that there be full financial disclosure, both parties have independent legal advice and both parties enter into the Agreements of his or her own free will. People use contracts of this nature to determine his or her rights upon a separation or dissolution of the relationship. The Agreements can be limited to the exclusion of an asset which might otherwise be included in a person’s net family property or be broad enough to determine property rights and support issues. It is important to know some issues cannot be contracted out of such as child support.  Such contracts can be entered into at any time in the relationship. It is also possible to have more than one contract governing a relationship. The hope is the contract is never required but it offers protection and peace of mind. It can be very important for individuals who do not wish the law to apply or in cases of a common law relationship where the parties’ intentions can be committed to paper.