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Do We Need a Cohabitation Agreement?: Understanding How a Legal Agreement Can Strengthen Your Life Together

Do We Need a Cohabitation Agreement?    
Format Softcover
Catalogue No. 978-0-470-73750-7
Pages 196
Language English only
Price $26.95
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Written by Michael G. Cochrane, LL.B.
Published by John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd., 2010.


You're committed, you're moving in together and you're blending your households. But are you forgetting something? Many Canadians find themselves in common-law relationships and think that they aren't any different from a legal marriage. It can be a shock to find out that, when the going gets tough, certain rights under the law—not to mention financial obligations—do or do not apply.

There are many many serious questions that couples need to consider before sharing their lives, all of which can be addressed in a cohabitation agreement. A cohabitation agreement allows a couple to make sure their partner and any children are taken care of in times of need or crisis; that ownership in properties or financial resources are clear, combined, separated or protected. Most of all, these contracts allow for the peace of mind that comes with having a game plan in place should the relationship end due to death or separation.

Take the advice of Michael Cochrane, a lawyer with more than 30 years of experience, and consider the numerous issues that can affect a common-law relationship. Do We Need a Cohabitation Agreement? is written in clear, nontechnical language and includes real-life examples based on Canadian cases. Cochrane addresses critical issues such as wills and estates, powers of attorney, the special concerns of step-families and same-sex couples, and how to have this discussion with your partner. It will also help you work in a cost-effective way with a lawyer should you decide that an agreement will benefit your relationship.

This is your future together. Get it right from the very beginning!

Table of Contents:
  • Chapter 1: Is this book for you?
  • Chapter 2: Eyes Wide Open: Due Diligence and Relationship Building
  • Chapter 3: Rights and Responsibilities to Each Other While Living Together
  • Chapter 4: The Legal Consequences of Living Common Law: Rights and Responsibilities if You Separate
  • Chapter 5: The Legal Consequences of Living Common Law
  • Chapter 6: Creating Your Own Set of Rights and Obligations
  • Chapter 7: Having "The Conversation"
  • Chapter 8: The Role of Your Lawyer
  • Chapter 9: Signed, Sealed, and Delivered
  • Chapter 10: Same-Sex Couples
  • Chapter 11: Let's Look at an Annotated Cohabitation Agreement
  • Appendices
  • Index
About the author: Michael G. Cochrane, LL.B., has been practicing law in Ontario for 30 years and is a partner with the firm Ricketts, Harris LLP. He is the author of a number of books, writes a regular column for Zoomer magazine, and speaks frequently on a variety of legal topics to average Canadians. Mr. Cochrane has hosted Strictly Legal, a legal affairs show on BNN and has appeared as a guest legal expert on many radio and TV programs.

From the same author:
Do We Need a Marriage Contract?: Understanding How a Legal Agreement Can Strengthen Your Life Together
Surviving Your Divorce: A Guide to Canadian Family Law

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This page last modified: August 3, 2010

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