By Jasdeep Dhillon

For the past month or so we have all been cooped up in our homes, enjoying work from home and spending more valuable time with our loved ones in self-quarantine.

Or maybe not… According to Tyler Foggatt who wrote an article in The New Yorker last week covering Chinese city, Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province, when the government eased restrictions on quarantining, the city’s divorce rate spiked . The article cites one official who blamed it, in part on the quarantine. “Many couples have been bound with each other at home for over a month, which evoked the underlying conflicts”.

Further, the article cites Laura Wasser, a divorce lawyer in L.A. who inspired, in part, Laura Dern’s character in “Marriage Story”, she says, “a quarantine experience, particularly where there are underlying issues of resentment and poor communication, could be devastating to a marital relationship”. 

So far, majority of Canadians have been doing pretty well with quarantining. However, it remains to be seen how we will come out of this pandemic once our restrictions have been eased.  But… if the quarantining period was a nightmare for you and your partner, you might want to consider some of your options before rushing to court for divorce.

There are few types of domestic agreements or contracts couples can enter into, which provide for a swift and less costly resolution or at the very least simplifying the divorce process by resolving many issues between the parties.

Co-habitation Agreements

Unmarried couples usually enter into co-habitation agreements. They can be signed before couples start co-habiting or while during they are doing so. Co-habitation agreements can deal with all financial aspects of the relationship including rights and obligations on its termination, but these agreements can’t deal with custody or access rights regarding children. For example, co-habitation agreements can be drafted so that spouses waive spousal support obligations, deal with ownership of property issues, and waive rights to each other’s respective estates. Financial independence is important in co-habitation agreements, each party is responsible for their own debt/liabilities and assets.

Marriage Contracts

Marriage contracts or pre-nuptial agreements can be entered into prior to marriage or after marriage but before marriage breakdown. The issues that can be dealt with in a marriage contract are ownership and division of property, support obligations, right to direct the education and moral training of children. However, any provision purporting to limit spouses right to possession of the matrimonial home is unenforceable along with other restrictions under Part 3 of the Family Law Act.

Separation Agreements

Separation agreements are by far the most common domestic contract. Virtually, every separated couple that does not litigate to the point of a judgment and has anything that requires settling as a result of the separation will likely end up with a separation agreement. Separation agreements can deal with all rights and obligations arising from the relationship and its breakdown, usually on a permanent basis.

Call Kesarwani Law Office today and let us advise on and draft your family law agreements.  We service across the GTA, including Mississauga, Brampton, Vaughan, and Oakville.

Contact Jasdeep Dhillon at 647-349-8300 or at

Please do not construe this as legal advice and contact a lawyer before making arrangements for drafting family law agreements.