Entering into a common law relationship can have just as many consequences as entering into a formal marriage. It’s important that you understand the nature of these consequences when it’s time for the relationship to end.
The team at Merchant Law can help you tackle all the major issues of a separation. This includes property division, spousal support, child support, and child custody. Our team is experienced, caring, and responsive. We can give you the help that you need.
What makes a relationship a common law relationship?
Any couple can become “common law married” in Saskatchewan by living together for two years. At that point, you have both the same rights and responsibilities as a formally married couple.
Having children together does not change the timeline in this province, but if you have a child and raise that child together you will both have custody rights over the child when it is time to separate, and the law assumes those rights to be roughly 50/50 so long as any arrangements are within the best interest of the child.
How do you separate a common law relationship in Saskatchewan?
You’ll begin living separate and apart, and you’ll craft a formal separation agreement. That separation agreement will be legally binding, so it’s imperative that you have a lawyer who will help you either draft the agreement or look over your ex’s proposed agreements.
Most separation agreements can be handled out of court. You may have to engage in an intensive negotiation process to properly resolve all of the major issues of your separation.
You both have an equal right to any property acquired after the date your common law status became active. Property acquired prior to that date is non-marital property and you take it with you when you separate. The division of property should be as close to 50/50 as possible and should account for the fact that some assets aren’t liquid. This means one spouse may need to make a cash “equalization payment” to account for property that can’t just be divided in half, like a house or a car.
It’s also possible some assets will need to be sold to facilitate the 50/50 division of assets. This is a common solution for homes or other real estate that the couple may have owned together.
Why Merchant Law?
The lawyers at Merchant Law are here to help. We’re responsive, caring, and sensitive to your needs. We ask you about your goals for the separation. Is it important to you to keep the house, and can you afford it after the separation is done? Will you need spousal support to survive? What are your hopes for your children?
From there we’ll tell you what a realistic separation agreement, one the courts would uphold, is likely to look like. We then help develop solutions to get you as close to your goals as is reasonable given the bounds of the law, and help you negotiate with your ex and their lawyer so that the process goes as smoothly as possible.
Are we the right lawyers for you? (306) 359-7777 Call Merchant Law to consult with a lawyer now. We’re here to help.