Common Law Separation
Common law separation occurs when a common law couple decides to put an end to their relationship. Common Law couples include heterosexual and same-sex relationships. People who are not married but living together are often unsure of their legal rights on separation. They may not know if they even have any rights when they separate. The law for common law couples has been both legislated and set by the court. Some of the laws are similar to married couples. Other laws for common law couples are not.
What is considered a Common Law Relationship in Alberta
A common law relationship exists when two people live together in a committed “marriage-like” relationship. The specific requirements vary by province, and the purpose it is being looked at for. In Alberta, common law couples are legally referred to as “adult interdependent partners”. You are considered to be in a common law relationship after three years of living together. The three year time period is reduced if you have a child together or enter into an adult interdependent partnership. A breakdown of this type of relationship is referred to as a common law separation. Upon separation, common law couples have the same rights as married couples, with the exception of property division upon separation, and dower interests on death. The Canadian Government has a different definition of what makes a common law relationship.
Property Division for Common Law Separation \ Splitting up Property
People are unsure as how to split up their assets in a common law separation. With married couples, spouses are automatically entitled to a share in the marital assets upon divorce. With common law separation, couples do not have an automatic entitlement to assets of the relationship. That said, the law in Alberta allows common law couples to make a claim for property acquired during the relationship. Our family law team at Kahane Law Office has the experience necessary to assist individuals with their common law separation. Our family lawyers can help individuals with a common law separation to understanding their rights and entitlements when they separate. Lean more on common law property division on separation here.
Support Following Common Law Separation
Common law separation may also allow common law spouses to claim “spouse” support from their former common law partner. If the common law couple had children during their relationship, there is a financial responsibility for the children’s care and well-being. In these cases child support may be payable. This is true whether or not the couple ever married. Kahane Law Office understands the dynamics of common law relationships. We understand how common law separation differs from traditional marriage separation. We also understand the entitlements and obligations of spouses upon a common law separation. Call now for help if your common law relationship has broken down.
Settlement Negotiations for Common Law Couples
Common Law Separation can involve a great deal of negotiation. Assets must be sorted out. Children must be provided for. Child support obligations must be put in place. Often this process requires even more negotiation than with traditional marriage breakdown. Our family law lawyers at Kahane Law Office are skilled negotiators. If you are going through a common law separation, we can help you reach an agreed settlement through negotiation.
The Process of Common Law Separation
Consulting an experienced family lawyer when your common law relationship has broken down will help you understand the process and what to expect. Each separation is a little (and sometimes a lot) different and we respect that your situation is unique to you. Whether dividing assets of a common law relationship, or seeking support following a common law separation, we can help.
When to Hire a Lawyer for Common Law Separation
If you recognize that your common law relationship is breaking down, call us. It is better to get proper legal advice early in the process. This can save more expensive solutions to bigger problems if you make bad choices before seeking legal help. You can call at any step and retain us for a much or as little help as you require. You stay in control.
Hiring Our Lawyers for Your Common Law Separation
The family law team at Kahane Law Office understands the complexities of family law in Alberta for married, common law, and non-traditional couples. Let us help you understand your rights, and help you work toward a solution if your relationship has broken down.
To schedule a consultation with a member of our family law team to discuss your common law relationship, entitlements, and any obligations, please contact our experienced team at Kahane Law Office. You can reach us locally in Calgary at 403-225-8810 or toll-free at 1-877-225-8817, or email us directly here.