Kirk Montoute LLP
Schedule A Confidential Consultation:
587-331-7845 | 877-563-5295
Request more information by email
Close This Form

Complete and submit the quick form to receive more information about our legal services or to request a confidential consultation with one of our legal professionals.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an lawyer-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Legal aspects of common-law relationships

In Alberta and across Canada, people generally think that a common-law relationship can easily substitute for marriage, especially if they have concerns about tying the knot. However, from the perspective of legal matters and family law, they could face several challenges. One lawyer offered several tips for those considering such a relationship.

In Manitoba, a couple must cohabitate for at least three years in order to be considered common-law. This means that the party who moves into the home owned by the other person will have homestead rights, which transfers as joint ownership and equity in property that is their main residence. Even if the non-owner didn't help with any household bills, the owner won't be able to sell the home without the other person's permission.

The definition of common-law also depends on a number of considerations that looks at all types of factors. The courts make a decision on who is common-law and who isn't on a case-by-case basis. For example, if the couple lives together for 12 months and has a baby together within that time frame, they are defined as common-law. However, this would only affect child support and alimony payments and not property division.

Another way to handle the situation is to register with the Manitoba Vital Statistics Agency as a common-law couple. This helps protect both parties as it gives them rights similar to those granted to married couples. In fact, they must submit a dissolution in the event that they wish to terminate their relationship.

Cohabitation carries certain legal ramifications. A family lawyer might be able to provide clients advice on how to protect themselves if they are debating between a common-law agreement and marriage.

Source: Manitoba Vital Statistics Agency, "Registering or dissolving a common-law relationship," 2013

Source: Huffington Post, "What You Need to Know About Common-Law", Joshua Slayen, November 26, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Like/Follow Us On These Social Media Apps:

Go Back To The Top Of This Page