Did You Know? » Domestic Contracts


Domestic contracts include cohabitation agreements, marriage contracts and separation agreements. According to the Family Law Act, a domestic contract and any agreement to change or rescind a domestic contract are unenforceable unless made in writing, signed by the parties and witnessed.

Domestic contracts allow parties to make binding arrangements in relation to issues arising from their relationship before, after or concurrently with changes in their lives and/or relationship status. This allows for the resolution of issues without having to go to court (except for a divorce judgment, if applicable), although parties may negotiate and finalize a separation agreement dealing with some or all issues even if litigation has been commenced.

While most issues may be addressed between parties following separation in a separation agreement, in a marriage contract or cohabitation agreement, parties are not permitted to agree in advance on the custodial arrangements for their child or children.

Domestic contracts may be set aside or varied by the Court, including but not limited to those that purport to deal with issues on a full and final basis, and even in the face of releases with respect to certain issues such as support, property and estates.

Domestic Contracts such as cohabitation agreements, marriage contracts and separation agreements are generally subject to a two-year limitation period with respect to making certain claims.

If you’d like to learn more about domestic contracts and how they might apply to you, please speak to one of our experienced lawyers for help.

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