Cohabitation Agreement Alberta: Everything you need to know

Cohabitation agreements are becoming increasingly popular among couples who choose to live together rather than getting married. These agreements can be used to outline the rights and responsibilities of each partner in the event of a breakup, including how to divide property and assets. In Alberta, cohabitation agreements are not only legal but help to protect the interests of both partners.

What is a Cohabitation Agreement?

A cohabitation agreement is a legal agreement between partners who live together but are not married. This agreement outlines the expectations and rules for the relationship. You can think of it as a prenuptial agreement for unmarried couples.

A cohabitation agreement can cover a variety of issues related to the relationship, including:

– Financial obligations

– Property ownership

– Property division in the event of a breakup

– Child custody and support

– Rights and obligations to each other`s estates

– Pets

– Any other issues the couple wishes to address

Why Should You Consider a Cohabitation Agreement?

While it may not be romantic to discuss the possibility of a breakup, it is necessary to consider the legal implications. A cohabitation agreement can protect the interests of both partners, clarify expectations, and avoid unnecessary disputes in the event of a separation.

Without a cohabitation agreement, Alberta`s Family Law Act will apply, which assumes that each partner is entitled to half of the property acquired during the relationship, regardless of individual contributions. This can be unfair and doesn`t reflect the reality of most relationships.

By having a cohabitation agreement in place, both partners can agree on a fair distribution of property and assets. It also provides clarity on financial obligations and spousal support that may be applicable after separation.

How to Create a Cohabitation Agreement

A cohabitation agreement should be drafted with the assistance of an experienced family law lawyer. A lawyer can help ensure that the agreement is valid, enforceable, and tailored to the specific needs of the couple.

The process of creating a cohabitation agreement can involve discussions about difficult issues, such as money and property. It is important for both partners to be honest and upfront about their wishes, expectations, and concerns.

Once the agreement is drafted, both partners should review it with their lawyer before signing. The agreement should be witnessed and signed by both parties to make it legally binding.


A cohabitation agreement can provide peace of mind and security for unmarried couples in Alberta. While it may not be the most romantic thing to discuss, it is important to consider the legal implications of living together, especially if you have significant assets or children.

If you`re considering a cohabitation agreement, it`s essential to seek the advice of an experienced family law lawyer who can help you navigate this process. A cohabitation agreement can protect the interests of both partners and prevent unnecessary disputes in the future.