Married vs Unmarried Spouses: What’s the Difference?
Several misconceptions seem to exist with respect to the definition of a common-law relationship and the rights and obligations that flow from these kinds of relationships. This post intends to clarify two of the most common misconceptions: If my partner and I move in together, we are automatically considered common-law spouses. False. Section 29 of the Ontario Family Law Act puts forth specific criteria which must be met in order for a relationship to be deemed “common-law”. According to section 29, a common law relationship exists only where:
- The parties have been cohabiting as a couple for three years; or,
- The parties are in a relationship of some permanence and are natural or adoptive parents of a child.