Relationship agreements set the ground rules for a relationship that’s ending or just beginning. The mutual understanding generated through the work of building relationship agreements greatly reduces the potential for future conflict.
Separating parties, whether married or unmarried, can resolve some or all of their issues by agreement. Agreements can be complete and comprehensive, resolving all the issues in dispute or they may be agreements that resolve only one or two of the issues the parties have. Agreements can be temporary (or interim) or permanent. Some types of agreements include:
- Parenting agreements: Where there are children involved, a parenting agreement can assist parties in moving forward in a cooperative way that minimizes the impact of the separation on the children.
- Support agreements: Support agreements can resolve disputes about child or spousal support and extra costs for the children (such as childcare costs, medical dental coverage, extracurricular activities, post-secondary education).
- Property agreements: Agreements made between spouses or unmarried couples to resolve how their property will be divided.
- Separation agreement: A separation agreement resolves some or all of the issues in dispute for unmarried couples or for married couples who wish to resolve their property and other issues but may not be wishing to proceed to divorce at this time.
- Minutes of settlement or divorce and property contract: These agreements are generally complete agreements resolving all of a divorcing couples’ issues.
Parties who wish to live with each other enter into a formal agreement regarding finances and property and determining what will happen in the event of separation or the death of one party. There are several types of agreements:
- Cohabitation agreements: Agreements made between two parties who intend to live together in a committed relationship.
- Prenuptial agreements: Agreements made by a husband and wife in anticipation of their marriage.
- Postnuptial agreement: Agreements made by a husband and wife after the date of marriage.
- Adult interdependent relationship agreements: Agreements made between unmarried parties who are residing together in a relationship of economic and emotional interdependence.
- Grandparent access agreements
- Assisted reproduction agreements