Common Misconceptions: Principle Differences Between Common-law Relationships and Marriage

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;

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Protect Yourself If You Are Not A Registered Owner Of Your Home

The home that you occupy as a family, often called the matrimonial home, holds special status as between spouses in Ontario.  Both spouses have rights in relation to the matrimonial home, including equal right to possession, disposition and/or encumbrance of the matrimonial home, even if both spouses are not legal owners of the home.

In order to exercise rights in relation to a matrimonial home, often court intervention is necessary; however, you can protect yourself in relation to a matrimonial home in some respects without having to go to court by registering a matrimonial home designation on title.

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2 mins read

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