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Protecting Your Rights in Common-Law Separation

In Canada, each province has distinct laws governing the rights and responsibilities of common law partners who decide to separate. Although cohabitation is increasingly popular, many couples are still unsure of the legal and financial impacts they face once the relationship breaks down.

At Foster Law Office, we have years of experience helping common-law spouses throughout Mississauga and surrounding regions. Our firm knows the intricacies of this area of law and can help guard your rights during separation.

Practical Legal Solutions For Common-Law Separation

Where child custody, access and support are concerned, cohabiting couples have the same standing before the law. Whatever your situation, we can help you pursue the best interests for your children and the future of your family.

In other areas, your legal rights and responsibilities differ. You may qualify for spousal support from a common-law spouse only after three years of continuous cohabitation. Even then, qualification is not automatic. We are thoroughly familiar with the factors that courts consider in awarding spousal support and can help you pursue a fair and equitable arrangement.

Property Division — A Key Difference

One of the most important areas where cohabiting couples differ from married ones is in the division of property. Whereas married couples share 50% of the family’s assets and debts, common-law couples enjoy no such automatic right — no matter how long they have been living together.

Each cohabiting spouse takes away only what he or she brought into the relationship at the beginning. In some cases — such as if one has contributed significantly to the value of the other cohabiting spouse’s property — it may be possible to seek a share, but doing so can be complicated.

Wherever you and your common-law spouse live together during the relationship, the one who legally owns the home or signed the lease is the one with the exclusive right to stay in it after the separation.

In this and all other areas of common-law separation, we can guide you through the process and pursue arrangements that best meet your immediate and long-term needs and interests.

Contact Our Lawyer To Discuss Your Common-Law Separation

If you are going through a common-law separation, we can determine and protect your rights and best interests. Call us to arrange a consultation. Email us via our online form or call our office at 289-814-1570 or toll free at 1-800-724-6592.