Common law marriages come together and dissolve with less fanfare than traditional marriages, but they still function like a marriage does. This means when the relationship dissolves you’re still left navigating all the major issues of a formal divorce like property division, spousal support, child custody, access and visitation, and child support.
Some common-law couples craft cohabitation agreements that function like prenuptial agreements. Our team of family lawyers can also help you put those agreements together, providing more protection for your financial future.
What is Common Law?
A common law relationship is formed when two people live together in a committed spouse relationship. They share assets, pool their finances together, and support each other. The only true difference is that they never had a ceremony or got a marriage license.
Cohabiting couples who form common-law unions get all the same rights and benefits as any married couple. This means they both have a right to one another’s property upon separation, and they may be eligible for spousal support.
If partners in a common-law arrangement have children, they will need to work out child support and custody like the members of any married couple might.
How do You Claim Common Law in Saskatchewan?
In Saskatchewan, a common-law partnership forms automatically whenever a cohabiting couple lives together for two consecutive years. The partnership may form sooner if the couple has children. This must be a spousal relationship: you won’t be common law married if you move in with a mere friend or take on a roommate. Common-law spouses must claim one another on their taxes, roommates don’t.
Other than claiming each other on your taxes you don’t have to register anywhere to make your common-law relationship known to the province.
Do you Need a Separation Agreement for Common Law?
If you’re dissolving your partnership then a separation agreement formalizes that reality. It also helps you create a legal framework for dividing assets and debts. It essentially will function as your new divorce decree, enshrining your parenting time schedule, securing any spousal support, setting a child support amount.
Once the agreement is set you can take your ex to court to get your agreement enforced, just like a divorcee could. Without this agreement, an overbearing ex might just take what they want, refuse to pay what’s owed, or block your access to your children, and you wouldn’t have much recourse.
You may need to negotiate for a fair separation agreement every bit as hard as a divorcing couple would have to negotiate for a fair divorce settlement. You will absolutely need the assistance of a savvy common law lawyer who can help you through every step of the process. Even small mistakes can have a big impact on your financial future and on your relationship with your children.
Get Help Today
Call (306) 653-7757 to get help from one of our experienced common law lawyers.