How Ontario Defines Common Law Marriage

Common-Law Marriage Ontario
  • Roughly 1 in 5 Canadians are in common-law relationships, this number has increased by 300% since 1981.

  • You are in a common-law “marriage” if you have lived together in a conjugal relationship for a continuous period of 3 years.

  • Equalization of family assets does not apply automatically in common-law marriages.

  • Nothing is automatic for Common-law couples in Ontario, you will also have to decide on the division of family property, spousal support and child arrangements after a relationship breakdown.

  • A partner who made financial or non-financial contributions towards securing the home may protect their rights on the basis of a constructive trust.

  • The law does not give common-law couples as much protection as it provides formally married spouses in a divorce.

  • Depending on the nature of your relationship with your spouse and the possibility of separation, this may put you at a disadvantage.

  • The CRA considers a couple in a common-law relationship to have separated when they experience a breakdown in their relationship for a period of at least 90 days.

  • Married couples usually have far more rights than those in common-law marriages.

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