Family Law Questions Regarding Common Law Relationships?

Family Law Questions Regarding Common Law Relationships?

In this video, Host and producer of Real Estate 101, Joe Terciera speaks with Toronto family lawyer John Shuman on the definition and specifics of common law relationships

John Schuman is the head of family law team at Devry Smith Frank LLP and is a practicing family lawyer.
John is asked “When are people legally considered common law?”

Well, it depends on the purpose. For taxes, people are legally common law when they have been living consecutively for 12 months, or they have a child together. For benefits, you really have to talk to your benefits provider, but for family law purposes, you are a common law when you have lived with your partner for three years, or you have child together through birth or adoption. If it has not been three years and you don’t have a child together, you are not common law yet.

Is being common law the same as being married?

For tax purposes, it is very similar, but for family law, it is very different. All that common law means from a family law perspective is that you can claim spousal support from your spouse or your common law partner.

Watch the video to learn more about common law relationships and common law rights in Ontario.

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For further information or assistance in regards to common law relationships or other matters regarding family law, please contact one of our Toronto family lawyers or contact John Schuman directly.