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July 2020 Archives

Do I Need a Cohabitation Agreement?

On January 1, 2020, the Family Property Act replaced the Matrimonial Property Act. The biggest changes relate to property rights for "common law couples". Unlike the Matrimonial Property Act it applies to "common law" couples and gives them the exact same property rights as the Matrimonial Property Act gave to married couples. I use quotes because the meaning of "common law" couple has never been clear in Alberta and the Family Property Act does not use that phrase. Instead, it uses the phrase "adult interdependent partners" and, unfortunately, that phrase is no more clear than "common law". If you work in the financial services or real estate industries, this makes it hard to know when your clients need a cohabitation agreement that deals with the end of their cohabitation.

Staying out of court during your divorce

Going to court for your divorce may seem like your best or only option, particularly if you feel too angry or betrayed to consider alternatives. However, litigation is a complicated process. It takes time and money that you may not want to devote to ending your marriage. 

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