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Common Law


Common Law and Division of Property

In Alberta, common law relationships work differently than in some other Provinces. Here, common law relationships are called “Adult Interdependent Relationships” and are governed by Provincial laws. To be common law, you must fit one of these 3 criteria:

1. Have lived together for 3 or more years,
2. Lived together in a somewhat permanent relationship and have a child together, or
3. Signed an Adult Interdependent Relationship Agreement.

You also do not need to be in a romantic relationship to be in a common law relationship. Friends, siblings, or anyone else can use it to share a legal status and have someone help them through life.

We can help you understand the law of common law relationships, the breakdown of the relationship, and assist with:

• Adult Interdependent Relationship Agreements
• Cohabitation Agreements
• Agreements to end Adult Interdependent Relationships
• Family mediation

Children are often the focus of common law relationships and their breakdown, and we can help with:
• Guardianship
• Parenting time
• Grandparent contact and care
• Child support
• Section 7 extraordinary child support

When common law relationships break down, sometimes one party owes the other partner support. We can help with:

• Partner support
• Partner support arrears

Common law relationships have different laws for dividing property than those governing Matrimonial property. We can assist with:

• Property division
• Unjust enrichment
• Preservation of property
• Partition and sale of home

We also represent clients in high conflict issues, including:

• Restraining Orders
• Emergency Protection Orders (EPOs)

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