Common law relationships are highly misunderstood. They function almost like a marriage. When it’s time to end the relationship Saskatchewan law gives both partners rights very similar to what a married couple would receive.
This means a common law partner has an equal right to property acquired during the course of the marriage and may be eligible for spousal support. If there are children involved, the courts will set child support amounts and create custody arrangements just like they would for a married couple.
Don’t try to navigate your common law separation alone. Reach out to the team at Regina family lawyers to get help.
What is Common Law?
A common law partner is a committed adult interdependent relationship just like a marriage. The only difference is that a common law couple never goes through a ceremony and never gets a marriage license.
These relationships are growing quite common across the province.
Common law partnerships retain all the same benefits as married couples. They share finances and assets, live in the same home, and may have children together. They do file taxes slightly differently from married couples, but they nevertheless claim one another’s income on their returns.
How do You become Common Law in Saskatchewan?
In Saskatchewan, you form a common law partnership by living together as a couple for two years. You must be in a spousal relationship: roommates can’t accidentally become common law partners just because they live together. You don’t need to register with the government in this province.
You might want to take another step though: many couples create cohabitation agreements that function essentially like prenups. These agreements say how property should be divided in the event of a separation, and cover issues such as spousal support. You should not include custody or child support clauses as these may only be covered by a separation agreement.
Do You Need a Separation Agreement for Common Law?
You do if you wish to protect your rights. Both spouses have equal rights to the property acquired during the relationship. Without a separation agreement, you have no way to enforce your claim to that property or your claim to spousal support.
Both parties should have their own lawyer look over the agreement before the either sign, and there may be a period of negotiation over the contents of the agreement. You may choose to live apart before the agreement is signed. Unlike a marriage, there is no time requirement for when you may dissolve your common law relationship.
Get Help Today
If you want a lawyer to help you draft a separation agreement or a cohabitation agreement, call us for a consultation. Just dial (306) 791-2161 any time, day or night, to schedule your appointment.