What Are the Common-law Relationship Rules in Canada?

What Are the Common-law Relationship Rules in Canada?

Usually, a common-law relationship means a relationship between two people without being married. There are several rules and regulations regarding the common-law relationship.

Sometimes, people may face certain issues with Canada's common-law relationship rules and regulations. In that case, you may seek help from a professional common law lawyer.

But now we need to know what are the common law rules in Canada. Keep reading to learn more.

What does the common-law relationship mean in Canada?

A common-law relationship is often known as cohabitation too. It generally means when a couple lives together without being married. However, there is no exact legal definition for a common-law relationship. Nonetheless, there are some conditions for the common-law relationship.

For example, the couple needs to live together for at least one year. And this one year should be continuous cohabitation. This is the universal nature of cohabitation across the federal government.

In some cases, there are some expectations too, when the couple needs to go other places for work, any sorts of business purposes or family obligations. But this separation period has to be temporary and short to maintain the common-law relationship.

How long a couple needs to live together to be in a common-law relationship?

According to the Canadian common law relationship rules, a couple needs to live together for at least 12 months straight. This 12-month timeline is also applicable to the context of an immigrant. Sometimes, the common law rules will fall under the individual's provincial law.

As long as a common-law relationship is concerned, it deals with various kinds of factors. Also, the common law status varies from situation to situation. The status can vary with government taxes, immigration, and property planning.

Different common-law relationship rules in the different provinces:  

As you know that different province has different common law rules. For instance, according to the Ontario Family Law Act, a couple needs to live together for at least three continuous years if you are living in Ontario.

If that couple has any children together, living for one year will be sufficient to be in a common-law relationship.

On the contrary, if you live in British Columbia, you may need to spend two continuous years together to be in a common-law relationship. If the couple has a child, this time can be lesser than that.

Additionally, in Alberta, common law is also known as Adult independent relationship. And Alberta's Adult Interdependent Relationships Act is also very similar to Ontario's Family law act.

What does a partner entitle in a common-law relationship?

According to Canadian family law, a partner will be entitled to everything they own personally in a common-law relationship. But in some cases, when both partners contribute to a particular property or any asset, in that case, a partner can claim that property.

Generally speaking, every case is unique to another case. So the entitlement also depends on an individual's situation and circumstances. But what if a partner passes away in a common-law relationship? Well, in that case, it will depend on the other partner's will.        

When will a person not be recognized as a common-law partner?

There are certain cases when it is considered as prohibited relationships in Canada. For example, you cannot be in a common-law relationship with more than one partner at the same time because the very nature of the common-law relationship is a committed relationship.

So, a committed relationship can exist between more than two partners. And especially in Canada, polygamous relationships will not be considered as common law or any type of conjugal relationship. In some cases, the common-law relationship has the same legal restrictions as the marital relationship.

But there are some circumstances where a person will not be recognized as a common-law partner. Those circumstances are mentioned in the following:

•            When a person will be involved in any sort of incestuous relationship.

•            When a partner's age will be under the minimum age of consent or 18 years.

•            When any criminal codes of Canada will incarcerate a partner.

Bottom line

If you are planning to go in a common-law relationship with your partner, it is very important to know about the rules of your province. Sometimes, if you do not understand the rules and laws first, you may face many difficulties after the separation.

Additionally, you may need to deal with child custody, shared property, and many other things in a common-law relationship. If you still find it confusing, you can seek help from a professional common law lawyer. Hopefully, this writing helped you understand the basics of common-law relationship rules in Canada.

Published by Rechard Jons

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