If you are living with your partner, but unmarried, you may be considered common law. Common law partners have different rights than married couples, and it is important that you know and understand your status in case any problems arise. To help you understand what it means to be in a common law relationship, the Family Lawyers at Brace Law have compiled and answered the top questions they receive about common law status. Read on to learn if you and your partner are considered to be common law!

1. What is cohabitation? 

Cohabitation is when two people live together but are not married.

2. Who can be recognized as common-law partners? 

The definition of a common law partner varies. For family law purposes, couples are considered common law if they have been living together for a period of not less than three (3) years, or share a child together. However, the definition does vary, so it is important that you understand which definition applies to your circumstance.

 3. What is the difference between a spouse and a common-law partner? 

A spouse is a person you are legally married to, whereas common law partners are not married. They live together or share a child, but they are not married.

4. How can I protect my rights as a common-law partner?

To protect your rights as a common-law partner, it is best that you and your partner negotiate a cohabitation agreement. This will ensure that you both understand your rights, responsibilities, and obligations, especially if property is involved. For more information about cohabitation agreements, contact our family lawyers at Brace Law.

5. Can I divide my assets with my common-law partner? 

Cohabiting couples do not have property rights like married couples do. You may choose to divide your assets voluntarily. However, you are not legally required to split property that you have gained during the time you and your common-law partner have lived together.

6. Once I get married to my cohabitee, what happens to our cohabitation agreement?

Once you get married to your cohabitee, your cohabitation agreement becomes a marriage contract.

If you have further questions on common law relationships, or whether your circumstances qualify, contact the family lawyers at Brace Law. It is important to understand your legal relationship status, as well as the rights and responsibilities it entails, in order to ensure you are prepared in case your circumstances change.  The Family Lawyers at Brace Law are here to assist you, so you can Consider It Handled.

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