How long do you have to live together to be common law in Canada?

Sometimes defining a relationship can be so tricky and complicated. The complication becomes more significant when the legal laws and taxes come to it. Most people have confusion about the common law in Canada. Does the common law consider when a couple moves together and much more confusion?

Suppose a couple is together for many years, but they never share their residences. So what if when they will not be together anymore and stop cohabiting? All these questions will be fall under the common-law partnership. So in this article, we will discuss how long you have to live together to be common law in Canada?

Definition of common law in Canada:

In simple words, when you share your living residence with someone who is not legally married to you, also referred to as living common law. If your partner is not your legal spouse, but you guys have a marital relationship and live together, it will be considered that law.

There are various reasons for common law. Among them, some are quite common in Canada. Such as; for tax purposes, people need to live together for a month or even a year. When you and your partner live together, you both can enjoy the health care benefits and many more.

According to Canada’s common law, if you guys want to enjoy the health care benefits, you guys have to live together for years. If you guys separated, then you will not get the common law support. Unless or until the following circumstances happen;

  • When you guys have a child together, no matter it’s biological or adaptation
  • When you guys lived in the same place for at least 2 to 3 years, the relationship was conjugal

Living together requirements:

Under living requirements, things can go in a complicated way. If you and your partner had to live separately for a legit reason, but you guys lived together previously, it will still fall under the common law. The legit reasons include incarceration, education, medical issues, and so on.

This scenario also can be happened when you and your partner go through a breakdown. If the breakdown is more than three months, you will not be considered common law. Again, if the separation has some valid reasons involuntarily, it would be under common law.

Living together in Common law:

In common law, a couple lives together without marital agreement and shares their assets and home. So it is kind of important to live together to be a common law. If you guys have any valid or legitimate reasons for separation, then the breakdown time can vary from two to three years.

On the other hand, if you guys are in breakdown without any reason, then the period cannot exceed more than 90 days. If you want to extend the time, then maybe you can apply for it. But according to Canadian law, you cannot live apart for more than three months to be considered common law.

Living Apart Together:

First of all, the common law will only be considered when married or unmarried people share their living home. If a couple is in a relationship but does not share their home, it will not count as common law. This may refer to ‘living apart together’ or LAT.

According to statistics of Canada, 8% of 20 years of aged Canadians are into LAT. That means almost 2 million people in Canada are in such a relationship where they do not live together or share their home. Usually, these types of couples are at a young age.

The statistics also say that:

  • Age between 18-24, almost 30% of people are into LAT
  • Age between 25-30, almost 18% of people are into LAT
  • Age between 31- 50, almost 2-3% of people are into LAT

The above statistic shows that mostly the young generation is more into living separately compare to older people. It is important to note here that living apart does not mean that lack of commitment or anything like this. People believe that living apart will make their relation stronger.

Cohabitation Agreements:

In Canada’s context, common law considers as a real relationship, where people share their needs, home, and many more. And marriage is also a more prominent relationship, which is more clearly based on Canadian law. Ending a common-law relationship is way more complicated than a regular divorce.

There are some issues like property division and inheritance rights not clearly explained by the law in common laws. So the separation process is also complex. Therefore, it is always a better idea to go to another level by creating a cohabitation agreement.

This is kind of similar to the prenuptial agreement but without the marriage. This ensures the protection of each other’s property and assets. Even if when you will not be together anymore. But this doesn’t deal with the issues like child custody or support.

Family lawyer for common law:

If you are uncertain about all the legal implications of the common-law partnership. Then you may go for a family lawyer for assistance. In most cases, you need to consult with someone if you should go for a cohabitation agreement or not. In that case, hiring a family lawyer is very important.

For those kinds of agreements, you may need to go for some court paperwork and legal rules. So you should talk to someone who is an expert in this field (i.e.,common law Manitoba). Nowadays, you will find all information about the family lawyer on the internet.

The Bottom Line:

Sometimes you need to go through some legal process to get a common-law partnership. Especially in Canada, a common-law partnership considers a legal relationship of a couple. So making it more legalize you can also go for prenuptial agreements or cohabitation Agreements.

All the necessary information about the common laws is available on the internet. If you need a family lawyer to help you,you can hire an experienced, skilled, and trustworthy lawyer. You can also know and learn more about them online. Hopefully, now you know how long you should have to live together to be common law in Canada.