A marriage is a formal and legally recognized union of two people who are in an intimate relationship. This union establishes the rights and obligations between the individuals. On the other hand, a common-law relationship is one in which two people live together in a conjugal relationship for a period of time without formalizing the union.
In Canada, common-law relationships legally fall under provincial jurisdiction. That is why the definition of a common-law relationship differs from province to province.» Read more about: The difference between a marriage and a common-law union » Read more 7 mins read
Rights arising under a common law relationship differ significantly from those afforded to married spouses.
In a common law relationship, one becomes a spouse after three years of continuous cohabitation or upon becoming the natural or adopted parents of a child, in a relationship of some permanence. For married couples, one automatically becomes a spouse after marriage, regardless of the duration of the relationship. A married spouse could be entitled to spousal support after one year of marriage;» Read more about: Common Misconceptions: Principle Differences Between Common-law Relationships and Marriage » Read more 3 mins read