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.
Alberta is one of the provinces in which common law partners do not have an automatic right to claim against their partner’s assets if the relationship ends. This means that if a common law couple live in a house owned by one partner, that partner alone is entitled to the property, and the other partner has no rights to it.
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 Matrimonial Property Act, which provides largely for an equtable 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 Matrimonial 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.