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Common Law Separation

Common Law Separation

When you live with your partner in a spousal-like relationship, you may end up creating legal rights and obligations, which will need to be sorted out upon the breakdown of the relationship.

These legal issues are similar to those experienced by married couples, but don’t let the similarities fool you; there are some important differences. 

Dealing with Common Law Separation in Ontario

There are many similarities in the rules in relation to married couples and unmarried couples with respect to parenting, decision-making, child support and spousal support in Etobicoke. With respect to children, the guiding principle, as always, is the “best interests of the child.” This is the same principle used by the Courts when resolving issues related to decision-making and parenting time that apply to married couples. Child support in Ontario is governed by the Child Support Guidelines, which are almost identical to the Federal Child Support Guidelines. As for spousal support in Ontario, once a couple meets the test of an “adult interdependent relationship”, the Court will then apply the same objectives and guidelines to determining spousal support as it would for a married couple.

The most contentious issue is the division of property as it relates to unmarried couples. Unlike married couples, common law couples do not receive the same automatic right to equalization of net family property under the Family Law Act. Having said that, although unmarried couples do not receive this level of protection, this does not mean that they do not have any property rights, it just means that there is an added layer to asserting these rights. The degree that an unmarried person can enforce these rights varies greatly depending on the relationship itself and the specific property in question. 

At Noori Law, we have handled many cases with respect to common law separation and property division and the rights of unmarried couples and we are ready to assist you. Please feel free to contact us to discuss your matter.

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