Your Relationship. Your Terms.
Let's face it: committed relationships have aspects of both business and pleasure, whether or not you choose to think about it. Did you know that financial disagreements are the #1 cause of relationship strife and separation? You can avoid mismatched expectations and misunderstandings by having open conversations and putting the details of your expectations in writing. Clear communication is key for relationship health!
We want you to take responsibility for your financial health through a written financial agreement with your partner. This agreement is called a Cohabitation Agreement or a Marriage Agreement in Canada, depending on whether you have plans to marry. It's the same as what is commonly known as a 'prenup' or 'prenuptial agreement', which is the American term.
An agreement usually addresses how you will handle your finances during your relationship, and what will happen in the event of a separation or death. It will be tailored to your exact needs and wishes.
I'm Christina Vinters, a nationally designated Chartered Mediator, (Non-Practicing) Lawyer, Author, and Host of the Divorce Well Podcast.
Through my years of work as a Lawyer and Family Law Mediator, I have extensive experience helping couples with most types of family situations, both preventing problems and resolving disagreements.
I have seen the financial and emotional damage that litigation can cause families and it is for this reason that I strongly recommend that couples discuss their beliefs and expectations regarding finances when times are good.
People deserve a way to peacefully and efficiently address financial issues that may arise during or after their relationship so that they can continue their lives in a functional way.
B.A., University of Toronto.
J.D. (Law Degree), University of Victoria.
Family Law Mediator, Law Society of British Columbia.
Chartered Mediator, ADR Institute of Canada.
Co-Founder, Intake Manager
And I'm Juris Vinters, Christina's business partner and husband. I am the first point of contact for clients when you call for information or to book an appointment.
I'll fill you in on the details of our process and answer all your questions about mediation. I am also available throughout the course of your mediation package to help with technical questions relating to your web-chats, scheduling, and updates as needed.
Our Cohabitation Agreement Process
A brief Private & Confidential Initial Consultation for each participant is required by the Law Society.
We will then meet together either by phone, Skype or in person as needed until you have reached the terms of agreement. The average number seems to be 1 - 2 joint meetings for a Cohabitation Agreement or Marriage Agreement.
When you have agreed on the details, I will prepare a written Cohabitation Agreement or Marriage Agreement according to your joint instructions. You have the option of obtaining Independent Legal Advice before you sign the agreement (recommended but optional).
The Benefits of Our Cohabitation Agreement Process
The process of discussing these details helps couples to clarify their expectations, rights and responsibilities. It gets topics out in the open that may otherwise be challenging to discuss in day-to-day conversation.
Think about it as similar to buying insurance: you'll be really glad you have it if you end up needing it.
Family Law Issues
In your Marriage Agreement or Cohabitation Agreement, we are able to address rights and responsibilities in 3 different scenarios:
- During your relationship
- In the unlikely event of a separation
- If one of you pre-deceases the other.
We can address all of the issues that are relevant and important to you, including:
- How expenses will be shared during your relationship
- How property and debt will be handled during your relationship
- Your rights and responsibilities regarding property and debt upon a separation
- Your rights and responsibilities regarding property and debt upon a death
- Whether either of you will have any right to claim spousal support and, if so, how the amount and duration will be determined
- Stipulations regarding use and rights to the family home
- Terms regarding your Wills and Estates, and whether part or all your Estate will be protected for your children and grandchildren
- Other details specific to your families.
Say 'I do' to planning your future.
Our Mission: to inspire and facilitate healthy family transitions.
Your Situation: You may have questions. You may be ready to get started on your Cohabitation Agreement or Marriage Agreement. Either way, please don't hesitate to reach out - we will be happy to assist.