When two people who have lived together in a “marriage-like” relationship separate, we would call this a “common law separation”. The rights that common law couples have can vary from province to province and it is important to know that common law couples have not got the same rights entitlements when they separate from one another as do the formally married have when they are getting formally divorced. Generally, in Saskatchewan you are not immediately entitled to all of the same rights as you would be if you were married.
When couples who have lived together in a “marriage-like” relationship separate, they may be treated similarly in many but not all respects as married couples for the division of property, spousal support issues, and issues surrounding the care and financial support of children.
If you are on the verge of separating and have been in a common law relationship, have a property and asset division issue, or any other family law issue, a Saskatoon common law separation lawyer can help you deal with it. Contact us today at 306-653-7777 for a free consultation.
What is the Saskatchewan Law for Common Law Separation?
You may wish to know what the law is when it comes to property division in Saskatchewan for unmarried couples. This is commonly called “common law marriage” or “common law married”, and as this falls under provincial legislation the law does vary from province to province. In Saskatchewan, you become common law partners after living together for two years.
What does “Common Law” mean?
In Saskatchewan the “common law” remains important. This refers to the decisions of what judges are currently doing and likely to do which provides the precedents for the lawyers to estimate what will be outcomes in similar factual cases.
Fairness is always important to courts of law. The advocacy skills of your lawyer and his or her ability to understand and present the facts can be decisive in these cases. So you’ll want a good lawyer!
Generally speaking jointly held assets are divided equally although the presumption is that property purchased during the relationship will belong to the person who can prove ownership.
Many people might wrongly assume that they may not have an interest in the home because it is in one or the other’s name and you are not married. That may not be the case. You should call to speak to one of our experienced Saskatoon common law separation lawyers.
What is Unjust Enrichment in Common Law Separation Cases?
There can be equally valid arguments made that failing to give the corresponding spouse a “reasonable” interest might result in unjust enrichment. On this basis the same arguments can be made as for married spouses such as, contributions to the family and child rearing whilst the other spouse was able to advance in career and earning capacity, as just one example.
One party can end up nominally owning most or all of the earnings, property, and whatever else was acquired during the relationship which may amount to unjust enrichment in the hands of the other spouse were it not shared on some fair basis. The courts will be receptive to these arguments in cases where the courts can see an injustice.
Of course beyond rights and obligations regarding division of assets and debts, often the more stressful and immediately important issues of children, custody, access, and child support and spousal support are frequently involved with common law separation, often at the same time.
Call us today at 306-653-7777 for a free consultation with no obligations. One of our Saskatoon common law separation lawyers will be happy to help you.
Saskatoon Common Law Separation Lawyers
The breakdown of common law relationships are no longer simply an accounting exercise in which the courts previously used to determine very simply what each partner brought into the relationship, and what he or she owned in their own name at the end of it.
The Family Property Act establishes how family property is viewed in Saskatchewan. This law recognizes that both spouses contribute to child care, household management and financial support. It states that each spouse is generally entitled to an equal share of their family property.
Under The Homesteads Act, a homestead — meaning property that is or has been occupied as a family home during the spousal relationship — cannot be sold or mortgaged without the consent of both spouses, even if it is owned by one spouse alone. Homestead rights end when legally married spouses divorce or unmarried spouses have been separated for at least 24 months.
If you are not married but were in a common law marriage situation, there may also be a practically similar entitlement to spousal support under the Family Law Act, to receive so called ‘partner support’. While this entitlement is essentially treated like spousal support, there are some subtle differences to the requirements for entitlement to partner support which include, for example, the length of the relationship and whether or not there are children, as well as some other differing considerations.
It may be said that on an ever increasing basis, a common law relationship is approaching more closely that of a traditional marriage in terms of their treatment by the Saskatchewan courts of law when the parties separate.
Our Saskatoon family law lawyers are skilled and experienced in all areas of common law separation and can assist you 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:
- Parenting time
- Grandparent contact and care
- Child support
- Section 7 extraordinary child support
When common law relationships breakdown, one partner may owe 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
The common law separation lawyers in our Saskatoon office provide help to Saskatoon residents as well as farther afield such as if you reside in:
Kindersley, Melfort, Tisdale, Prince Albert, Humboldt, Nipawin, North Battleford, La Ronge, Lloydminster, Canora, Esterhazy, Martensville, Warman, Rosetown, Outlook, Watrous, Dalmeny, Osler, Langham, Rosthern, and Delisle.
Merchant Law has offices across Canada and three offices in Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Regina, and Moose Jaw.
Get in Touch
Call today for a free consultation, or fill in the adjacent form for a response by email, or else feel free to drop into our office in downtown Saskatoon Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Although it is advisable to call and book an appointment in advance.