For dower rights to apply in Alberta, the person has to be legally married. The Dower Act is clear on this. This means that common law relationships do not attract dower rights. Same sex relationships will attract dower rights so long as the couple is legally married.
Non-Traditional Weddings and Dower Rights
If a person get married outside of Canada in a ceremony that is not like a Canadian wedding but is considered a marriage in that jurisdiction, then you should consider the person married for dower act purposes.
Separation and the Dower Act
“Legal separations”, living separate and apart, even for 30 years, or people who have separation agreements but have not divorced, are still married under the Dower Act.
Effect of Death on Dower
The death of a spouse, an annulment and an actual divorce judgment are the only ways of becoming not married under the dower act.
Age of Majority and Dower
A person under the age of 18 may have dower rights if they are legally married.
Are Lawyers Really Needed to Determine Someone’s Marital Status
Surprisingly yes. Each week or two we get someone who is not sure about their marital status. While usually it is because people say they are single when they are married (Again, they are no longer in a relationship but are still married), we have had client’s who were divorced but still thought that they were married.
Calgary Lawyers Help with Dower Issues: Determining if People are Married for Dower Rights