Common-law relationships

The term common-law relationship is often used to refer to a marriage-like relationship that has lasted a certain length of time, usually one or two years. Used in some federal laws to refer to a marriage-like relationship of a year or longer.

The basics

Fact sheets


Describes what separation is, whether it's between married or common-law couples. Includes what to take with you when you leave and the reasons for writing a separation agreement.

Rights and responsibilities

Thinking of moving in together?
Describes the legal issues related to common-law relationships (involving property, debt, children, benefits, and wills).

Wills and estates

If your common-law partner dies
Describes the rights common-law partners have if their partner dies.