Common Law Relationships

Even if you are not legally married you will meet the definition of a spouse under the Family Law Act if you have lived in a marriage-like relationship with another person for a continuous period of at least 2 years. If you have lived in a marriage-like relationship with another person for less than 2 years but you have a child together you will be considered a spouse for all Parts of the Family Law Act except those relating to property division and pension division.

Generally speaking, common law spouses have the same rights and obligations respecting the divison of assets and debts and spousal support under the Family Law Act that legally married spouses have, although different time limitations apply.

If you are living with your partner or intend to live with your partner and do not want the provisions of the Family Law Act that determine division of assets and debts or spousal support obligations to apply to your relationship you should consider entering into a written cohabitation agreement which is essentially a "pre-nup" for common law couples.

To arrange a free initial telephone consultation to obtain additional information about common law relationships or cohabitation agreements or to arrange a meeting with a lawyer to obtain legal advice on your particular circumstances please contact us at (604) 523-7090 or email booth@cassadylaw.com