More Alberta couples are recognizing that their relationships have more complexities than just emotions. You may be in love with your partner, but you also purchase property together, share a bank account and accumulate debt. These are serious matters that have little to do with your feelings. While taking these actions may seem to solidify your union, they also make things complicated if the relationship ends.
If you and your partner are considering marriage or cohabitation, the last thing you want to think about is whether you will break up. However, since you do not always have control of the path life takes, it is reasonable to take steps to prepare for that potential and to protect yourself and your partner in case that time comes.
Family law agreements
There are two types of family law agreements you can make in the beginning of your relationship. Depending on your circumstances, you may choose to sign a prenuptial agreement or a cohabitation agreement. The prenuptial agreement is for couples who are planning to get married. Cohabitation agreements can cover many of the same issues for those who are going to live together without getting married.
Not every couple will benefit from a prenuptial or cohabitation agreement. However, if you plan to own property or start your own business, a family law agreement is a smart idea. Additionally, if you and your partner have significantly different incomes or if your relationship has other complexities, you may wish to seek individual legal counsel for guidance in protecting your interests.
Having family law agreements in place
The truth is that you may not have an easy time convincing your partner to sign a prenuptial or cohabitation agreement. It may be difficult to anticipate where you will be financially or professionally in the future, whether you will own property together or run a business. Spending time, money and emotional energy on a family law agreement may seem overwhelming in the face of so many unknowns.
On the other hand, should your relationship end, you may save many thousands of dollars in legal actions if you have a family law agreement that already outlines how you will deal with your finances and assets. Many find their breakups are less contentious and more positive with a family law agreement in place. Before taking a big step in your life like marrying or buying a home with your partner, you would be wise to seek as much information as possible about your legal options for protecting your future.