In the province of Alberta, when a couple lives together in a committed relationship, without being married, the relationship is referred to as a common-law relationship. Common-law partners do not share the same rights or obligations as married partners in Alberta.
Common-law relationships are generally defined as partners who:
- Share one another’s lives
- Are emotionally committed to one another, and
- Function as a domestic and economic unit
Whereas married partners in Alberta fall under the auspices of The Matrimonial Property Act, Common-law relationships full under the Adult Interdependent Relationships Act.
Am I In a Common-Law Relationship?
In order to be considered under the Interdependent Relationships Act you must be:
- Living in an interdependent relationship for at least 3 years
- Living in an interdependent relationship of some permanence when there is a child of the
- partnership through birth or adoption, or
- Entered into an adult interdependent partnership agreement
Understand Your Rights
In Alberta, when common-law couples separate, each party keeps the property bought during the relationship that they paid for or that is registered in their name. There is no presumption of equal division of property however there are exceptions to the rules including land help in joint names, gifts exchanged, equity acquired during the relationship by one partner and not the other, and others.
Contact our Family Law Firm
Coley Hennessy Cassis Ewasko are a trusted and experienced firm that serves the Edmonton area with their family law firm. If you are unclear about your common-law relationship, and the rights you have as a common-law couple in Alberta, contact our Edmonton family lawyers at 1-780-800-7623. We will help you understand all your rights regarding common-law relationships in Alberta.