Can I Marry Someone Else While Living Common-Law?

October 23rd, 2014 by

Toronto family law lawyer Sarah Falzon was recently asked the following question: “I am currently still living with my ex in a common law relationship due to financial reasons. Can I marry someone else?

Living “common law” is legally completely different from being married. When you are in a common law relationship, the relationship has no legal status, so there are fewer legal implications of this relationship. For a detailed description of what living common law means, and doesn’t, listen to this podcast here.

The Marriages Act explains that any person who is of the age of majority may get married provided no lawful cause exists to hinder this. It also explains that one can get re-married if the previous marriage has been dissolved or annulled and this is recognized under the law of Ontario.

However, since you were not legally married you do not have to worry about this and you and your new partner are free to marry as you wish.

If you have any other questions about the implications of marrying your new partner while living with your old partner, you should contact a family law lawyer. There may be specific facts that you should discuss with a lawyer.

Sarah is a family law lawyer. She practices family law, child protection law, and education law at Devry Smith Frank LLP, a full service law firm located near Eglinton and the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto. Learn more about Sarah! Call her at 416-446-3320 or 416-446-5847 or email her at

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