Common-Law Marriage and Property Division: Surrey Lawyers

With the new Family Law Act in British Columbia, common-law spouses have the same right to property division as do married people upon relationship breakdown. Even if the law does not consider you a spouse for the purposes of property division, you have important legal options to consider when your relationship ends. The Surrey lawyers at Peterson Stark Scott can help you understand those options and take appropriate action.

Definition of Spouse for Dividing Property in British Columbia

For the purposes of property division, the Family Law Act defines a spouse as someone who is married or who has been living in a marriage-like relationship for at least two years. Therefore, it is possible for a common-law spouse leaving a relationship to have the same rights to property division as a married person.

For those who have been with their partner less than two years, property rights are much different. Although shorter-term common-law relationships can meet the definition of spouse if the couple has a child together, this is not the case for division of property and debt.

However, if you are leaving a relationship where you contributed to the assets of your partner and suffered a loss because of it, you may be able to get compensation through an "unjust enrichment" claim. Because this area of the law can be complicated, it is best to speak with a lawyer who can provide you with specific guidance regarding your options.

Peterson Stark Scott is committed to providing people from all backgrounds and relationships with professional advice and individualized legal guidance. We will let you know where you stand and how we can help.

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To receive information about divorce or advice on common-law marriage and property division, contact the firm. Call 800-675-2419 or 604-634-2308 or reach us online to make an appointment.