Separations, Reconciliations, and Cohabitation Agreements
Does separation followed by a reconciliation terminate a cohabitation agreement? The short answer is NO but it depends on the interpretation of the agreement and the intentions of the parties. In a recent case, Krebs v. Cote, 2021 ONCA 467, the appellant, Mr. Kreb, appealed the decision of a motion judge declaring that a cohabitation agreement with the respondent, Ms. Cote, was of no force and effect. The appeals court did not agree with the motion judge’s conclusion that a cohabitation agreement does not apply to the parties after a separation followed by reconciliation unless the agreement expressly provides to the contrary.
At common law, it is well established that a separation agreement becomes void upon reconciliation of the parties, subject to any clause in the separation agreement overriding the common law rule or an implication that the intent of the parties was that the terms of the separation agreement would be carried out despite subsequent reconciliations. However, the court ruled that this common law rule should not apply to cohabitation agreements. The cohabitation agreement in this case envisaged cohabitation, marriage, divorce, separation, and death of a party and thus it was meant to survive any future separations and reconciliations.
If you have any questions about cohabitation agreements, separation agreements, or marriage contracts, contact the family lawyers in Toronto at Melekhovets Law to learn more about our services as committed contracts lawyers in Toronto and more.