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Domestic contracts and multigenerational households

We often discuss the importance of domestic contracts because they are a crucial tool couples can use to keep numerous complex factors organized. From property division to how debt responsibility is assigned when a relationship comes to an end, a contract can help couples avoid heated, emotional disputes in the future. Can these types of contracts be used to lessen the chance of arguments in a multigenerational home?

In short, the answer is yes.

With the prospect of a fluctuating economy and increasing housing costs, adult children and their romantic partners are finding it more and more attractive to live with parents or grandparents. These extended households are likely more common than you realize. Statistics from a 2016 survey note that 6.3 per cent of Canada’s population categorized as living in a private household, lived in a multigenerational home. This equates to 2.2 million people. Ontario has the highest rate of adult children still living with parents.

Those in marriages or common-law relationships might find it easier to make certain stipulations while sharing a household with parents or grandparents. In the hands of an experienced family law lawyer, domestic contracts can cover a wide range of topics. From the division of debt, recording household contributions and ownership of valuable assets. Fortunately, domestic contracts are designed to set expectations so couples can avoid conflict whenever possible.

Couples can use cohabitation agreements or marriage contracts as a way to clarify their wishes should the relationship end. If the couple is sharing a household with parents, these documents can increase in complexity as finances become intertwined. This growing segment of Ontario’s population would be wise to consider discussing their specific situation with a lawyer who can answer their questions and provide the guidance they need.

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