In Ontario, a relationship is recognized as a common-law union when a couple has lived together in a conjugal relationship for at least three years. If this couple has children together, either by birth or adoption, the relationship will be recognized as a common-law union after the couple has lived together for one year.
Many couples nowadays opt not to get married as they believe there are no real differences between a marriage and a common-law union.» Read more about: What Are Your Rights at the End of a Common-Law Union in Ontario? » Read more 6 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
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.» Read more about: Protect Yourself If You Are Not A Registered Owner Of Your Home » Read more 2 mins read