Common-Law Union

Posted on February 02, 2018

Common-law relationships typically refer to couples that live together in an arrangement akin to marriage, but without an actual ceremony or legal documents. Common law couples do not have all of the same rights and obligations as married couples under the law relating to property, debts, and pensions. However, their rights and obligations around parenting and supporting children are similar to those of married couples.

-          isn’t legally married to you
-          can be either sex
-          is 18 or older
-          has been living with you for at least 12 consecutive months, meaning:
-          you’ve been living together continuously for one year, without any long periods apart

if either of you left your home it was for:
-          family obligations
-          work or business travel

any time spent away from each other must have been:
-          short
-          temporary

-          shared ownership of residential property
-          joint leases or rental agreements
-          bills for shared utility accounts, such as:
-          gas
-          electricity
-          telephone
-          joint utility accounts

important documents for both of you showing the same address, such as:
-          driver’s licenses
-          insurance policies
-          identification documents

You don’t need to include all these items to prove your relationship is real.

Please also note, that common-law relationships fall under provincial jurisdiction, and so what constitutes such a relationship and how it is viewed legally differs greatly from province to province.


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