Domestic agreements can be an integral part of the Inter-generational Planning and Wealth Management process.

Cohabitation agreements, marriage contracts and separation agreements are referred to as domestic agreements under the Family Law Act of Ontario.

Cohabitation agreements are frequently used in second marriage situations to define and limit property and support rights and obligations where parties are bringing assets, and existing families, into a new relationship. They are also useful in first marriage situations where a party is bringing a specific asset into the relationship (such as a home or a business) and wishes to ensure that the other party can make no claims against that asset in the event of a breakdown in the relationship. Cohabitation agreements are covered under Section 53 of the Family Law Act, which can be found on the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario web site at

Marriage contracts are entered into after marriage and are similar in scope to cohabitation agreements in terms of what can and cannot be agreed to with one major exception: an attempt by one party to contract out of his or her Part II rights, i.e. the right to possession of the matrimonial home, is unenforceable. Marriage contracts are covered under Section 52 of the Family Law Act.

Separation agreements are covered under Section 54 of the Act. These agreements are the broadest in scope of the domestic contracts as all issues which arise as a result of cohabitation can be dealt with under a separation agreement. They are invaluable in putting closure to a difficult and emotional situation.

We appreciate that the negotiation, drafting and signing of these types of contracts is a stressful process that can impact on the lives of the parties and their children for years to come. Our philosophy with respect to domestic contracts is "The best agreement is a fair agreement".


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