Types of the contract will depend on a type of relationship you are in:
Living in a common-law relationship - you sign a "Cohabitation Agreement"
Already married - you sign a "Marriage Contract"
If you are going to be married - you sign a " Pre-nuptial contract"
A cohabitation agreement is designed for common law couples. The agreement may specify who owns which property and what rights the partners have over the property; who will receive an income, gain or who owns what assets. If the couple wishes to own assets together, then the agreement will outline the portions that each partner owns.
Under Alberta law, a couple is considered to be in a common law relationship if they have lived together for three years or more, have a child or have adopted a child together, or have signed a cohabitation agreement.
The division of property after separation in a common law relationship is going to change in Alberta on January 1, 2020. Starting January 1, 2020, common law couples will have the same rights to property as married couples as a result of Bill 28 which will amend the Family Law Act in Alberta. That means that they will share all property accumulated during the common law relationship on a 50-50 basis after separation unless assets are exempt. As a result of the changes to the Alberta Family Law Act, which will come into force on January 1, 2020, property division for common law couples will be the same as for married couple
Prenuptial Contract/ Marriage Contract:
A prenuptial agreement is a contract between two people who are planning to get married. In Alberta, the prenuptial agreement may contain contractual terms that determine how property and debt will be divided in event of divorce or separation. A prenuptial agreement may change the way property would otherwise be distributed in divorce or separation under the Alberta Family Property Act, which provides largely for an equitable division between the parties of assets not otherwise excluded by law from division. A prenuptial agreement is entered into before marriage, but does not become enforceable until after the marriage has taken place. It can deal with property owned jointly or separately. You are able to created your own terms of division of the matrimonial property and exclude some of the assets as you please in case of divorce.
In order to be recognized by the Courts, you must each see your own lawyer who will review the agreement. You must also acknowledge in writing that you understand that you may be losing your rights under the Family Property Act.
This information is provided for general information purposes only. It does not constitute professional advice and does not create a advisor-client relationship. Please consult a Certified Financial Planner about your specific needs before taking any action. insurance products and services are provided by Alia Turkunova-Rausch.