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Calgary Cohabitation Prenup Agreements lawyers help prepare, defend and in some cases set aside cohabitation, prenuptial agreements and marriage agreements. So, how does a court intervene to change or set aside a Calgary cohabitation agreement or Calgary prenuptial agreement ? In today’s blog one of our of experienced senior Calgary Cohabitation Prenup Agreements Lawyers at MacLean Law, Peter Graburn gives you the straight goods.

Cohabitation and Prenuptial Agreements in Alberta – Do they always hold up?

In my previous post on common-law pension rights in Alberta, I discussed how common-law couples (now “Adult Interdependent Partners”, or “AIPs”) and those planning to marry could deal with their property on the breakdown of their relationship due to the fact that non-married couples in Alberta did not have any automatic, legislative right to divide their property in such event. One way to deal with this is to enter into either a cohabitation or prenuptial agreement. But do these agreements always hold up? Not always.

Calgary Cohabitation Prenup Agreements Lawyers 403-444-5503

What are cohabitation and prenuptial agreements? What’s the difference?

Cohabitation Agreements are for unmarried couples living together who do not intend to get married in the near future but want to make clear their relationship regarding how they would deal with their rights and obligations regarding the other person (ie. financial support, division of pre-existing or mutually purchased property, etc.) in the event their relationship breaks down. While these agreements may not be very common, they are a good idea given the rights and responsibilities granted to AIPs under the Alberta Family Law Act and the principle of Joint Family Venture.

On the other hand, Prenuptial Agreements are for couples who do intend to, or are getting, married in the near future and want to clarify in advance their agreement regarding how they would deal with spousal support and division of matrimonial property upon separation or divorce. These agreements are very important (particularly where there are high levels of income and property) given the provisions under the federal Divorce Act (ie. re spousal support) and Alberta Matrimonial Property Act (re division of property).

Setting Aside Calgary Cohabitation Prenup Agreements Lawyers

But are these agreements always valid and enforceable? Our skilled Calgary Cohabitation Prenup Agreements Lawyers warn not always. There are many grounds for challenging and possibly overturning these agreements (as found in the following legislation and cases), including:

► lack of statutory requirements (ss.  37 and 38 of the Matrimonial Property Act) (Nasin);

► duress, undue influence, oppression and psychological vulnerability (Miglin);

► unjust enrichment and joint family venture (Kerr vs. Baranow);

lack of financial disclosure or knowledge (Rick v. Brandesema, Brown v. Silvera, etc.);

►Lack of reasonable independent legal advice (Brosseau, Corbeil, Webb vs. Birkett, etc.);

Unconscionability (such a bad deal as to constitute a fraud) (Mastalerz).

Are these grounds always successful in overturning cohabitation and prenuptial agreements? No.

Do you have to go to Court to uphold or overturn cohabitation and prenuptial agreements? Not always.

Do cohabitation and prenuptial agreements always hold up? Usually, but not always.  To  date, these Agreements are almost always held valid and enforceable when challenged. a disgruntled signatory to one of these agreements faces a significant burden of proof on a party seeking to set aside one of these agreements and a consistent reluctance on the part of  Alberta courts to do so compared to BC Courts. There are many procedural and legal considerations that must be taken into account while preparing these agreements and deciding whether they hold up at the end of the day.

Also, determining whether they should be enforced or not may be decided either in Court or by agreement between the parties outside of court (with the assistance of their lawyers). Contacting one of our top rated* Calgary Cohabitation Prenup Agreements Lawyers can help get you on the right track early.

Call Our Calgary Cohabitation Prenup Agreements Lawyers Now 403-444-5503

Calgary Cohabitation Prenup Agreement Lawyers can assist their clients in properly drafting and signing these cohabitation and prenuptial agreements at the beginning of their relationship so that they have a better chance of holding up to Court scrutiny.  Our Calgary Cohabitation Prenup Agreements Lawyers can also assist their clients to properly challenge or defend these agreements once the relationship has ended so that a fair and reasonable conclusion of the relationship can be achieved.


Get proper legal advice from one of our Calgary Cohabitation Prenup Agreements Lawyers so you don’t regret it years later. Click here to meet with Peter Graburn to ensure you are protected.

*Top Choice Award (2014, 2016, 2017 2018, 2019), Top rated reviews on Google, Yelp, threebestrated, lawerratingz.com. Read more about our awards.