3 Things To Know When Splitting Up With Your Cohabitating Partner

Law Blog

When you live with a partner for a certain length of time and are not married to that person, there are laws for your protection. These fall under common law, and they give rights to cohabitating couples, and they also give rights to each person if the relationship fails. If you are getting ready to split up with a long-term partner, you may be entitled to certain things when you leave. Here are three things you should know about this.

1. Length of time is important.

The first factor that affects your rights in a cohabitating relationship is the length of time the relationship lasted. While every province has different rules, most do not allow common law to kick in until a couple has lived together for 12 consecutive months or longer. You should first look into the rules in your province to determine if you meet the requirement for this.

2. You own what is yours.

When you get married, everything that is owned belongs to both spouses equally. If you are not married and are just cohabitating with someone, this is not the case. When there is a breakdown in the relationship and the partners each go their own way, each has the right to keep what is theirs. Determining what is theirs depends on who owned the item at the start of the relationship.

In other words, everything you bring into the relationship is yours to keep when it ends. This can be both good and bad, especially if you consider long-term relationships. For example, if you moved into your boyfriend's house and lived there for 5 years without getting married, you will not be entitled to a dime from the house when the relationship ends.

3. An agreement is legal.

If you and your partner had created a legal cohabitation agreement at the start of the relationship, anything it says could be upheld in court. In other words, if the agreement stated that you would have rights to the house after three years, you could fight for those rights. A cohabitation agreement is something you can use to fight for what you deserve, and it is always wise to get one before living with anyone.

As you prepare for the end of your relationship, you may need some legal advice to help you determine what you should do. If so, contact a family lawyer, like those at Heritage Law Group, and schedule an appointment to learn more about this.


27 April 2015

family law - impacting your life

Just as there are laws to protect us on the roads, there are laws to protect our families. Whether you are fighting for the right to see your children, or are in the beginning stages of a divorce, a lawyer can help. There are many laws and stipulations that can have a serious impact on the outcome of any family legal situation. Having a lawyer working at your side to get through a difficult time is the only way to ensure that your rights are fully protected. On this site, you will learn about some of the family laws that could be impacting your life today.