Common Law Separation in Sarnia

Common Law Lawyer in Sarnia

People in relationships today are more prone to move in together than previous generations. Such loving relationships allow good people to build a life, reduce expenses and enjoy mutual support without a legal agreement sanctioned by the Crown.

Although living together seems to remove the legal aspect, that may not be the case. In fact, there may be significant ramifications when couples meet the standard of a “common law” relationship and split up. If you are facing a common law separation, it may be in your best interest to work with the experienced family lawyers at George, Murray Shipley Bell, LLP. We provide determined family law services for common law couples in and around Sarnia-Lambton.

What Happens When Common Law Couples Separate?

In Ontario, a couple may be considered to be in a common law relationship if they have a child together and live together as a family. The length of their common law cohabitation may be relatively short in the eyes of the court. In relationships without children, the standard is usually three years for traditional and same-sex couples. If you and your significant other have met these legal thresholds, individual rights and obligations may have been triggered that carry into your separation.

What are the Rights of Common Law Couples in Ontario?

Common law couples are often surprised to discover they do not have the same rights as their formally married counterparts. They enjoy no legally defined right to the other person’s assets in the event of a death. But when a common law separation occurs, both people do have actionable rights. These include the following:

  • Equitable division of shared property
  • Retain ownership of pre-common law partnership property
  • Spousal support
  • Child support

The fundamental idea governing a common law separation is that one party should not be unjustly enriched at the expense of the other. Contributions to the relationship and couple’s wealth can be addressed under similar legal principles as divorcing spouses.

Get Help from a Common Law Separation Lawyer in Ontario

When going through a common law separation, it’s crucial to have the legal support you need. This can be a difficult life transition and not a time to struggle with the court system to secure your rights and interests. At George, Murray Shipley Bell, LLP, we shoulder the legal burden so you can focus on building a more fruitful future. Contact our Sarnia, Ontario, family law office for a consultation.