In Canada, there are laws in each province that govern the creation of cohabitation agreements. In Ontario, there are restrictions on what can be added to such agreements. For example, clauses requiring chastity are unenforceable. Provisions that pre-determine child custody, access and custody issues may be ignored by a court.  In Canada too, a cohabitation agreement must be signed, certified and supplemented by financial disclosure.  With the increasing diversity of relationship structures between couples who have a common contract, you can help solve important issues and avoid problems along the way. Even if you and your partner have an agreement in mind, you can speak to a family lawyer to ensure that the agreement is strong and applicable. Just like the canaries used by miners to prevent gas leaks, explicit discussion of fears can help you see when your relationship enters dangerous terrain. You may be concerned that your partner`s family will enter into your relationship, that the two of you will separate, that your partner will have an affair, that you will have to sacrifice your career for that of your partner, that you may not be able to have children. The list may seem endless. But as the Roman philosopher Seneca wrote, „We suffer more from imagination than from reality.“ When couples give themselves permission to reflect and talk about their fears, they build greater mutual sensitivity and support and can take preventive measures to prevent these fears from occurring.
For example, if you are interested in a risky career change but are concerned that financial commitments will prevent it, you may agree to a reduction in family expenses to create a financial buffer. In general, the law does not provide for an inheritance tax for unmarried couples living together. These contracts work in the same way as marital agreements and determine, among other things, how money, property and debt are managed during and even after the relationship. It may seem extremely undy romantic to ask your partner to enter into a contract with you, but it will tell you a lot about yourself, your partner and the maturity of your relationship.