This article is by Nora Rock, corporate writer/policy analyst at LAWPRO.

Valentine’s Day is a favourite for marriage proposals, but here at AvoidAClaim, we’re in the business of asking the question “what could go wrong?” Please forgive us for pointing out that while February may be all hearts and flowers, January is the most popular month of the year for relationship breakdown.

While it’s very unromantic to think about planning for the end of a relationship that’s just beginning, for some parties – notably those with significant assets – it MAY prevent at least the financial variety of heartbreak down the road. (I say “may”, because like us, you may have found yourself unable to avoid the temptation of reading the reasons in McCain v. McCain.)

A domestic contract can be created by parties at any stage of a relationship: before marriage, before unmarried cohabitation, before buying property together, midway through a relationship, or once the relationship has come to an end. Every domestic contract is different. Drafting a contract for parties who are still together can be especially challenging, especially if the parties attempt to retain the same counsel. This is an absolute no-no, because there are real or potential divergent interests. There’s no room here to scratch the surface on all of the issues that lawyers might encounter, so we will simply direct you to the many family law resources available at In particular, the Domestic Contract Matter Toolkit, released just last year, will help you ask the questions you need to find all the relevant information.

Categories: Family Law