Divorce 101 FAQs

I have lived common law with my partner for three years but we never married. Do I need to get a divorce?

No, only married spouses need to get a divorce. It is important to know that couples who have cohabitated together may be considered “common law” partners under the law and may have other legal issues that need to be resolved as a result of separation.

Common issues which arise between common law couples include custody and access, child and spousal support and sometimes considering how to deal with jointly owned property.

As a common law couple, your rights and obligations on separation may be different from a married couple, especially in regards to issues involving property. If children, large amounts of money or property are involved in your breakup, it would be a good idea to speak to a lawyer and have a professional separation agreement drawn up.

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About the author

Russell Alexander

Russell Alexander is the founder of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers and is the firm’s senior partner. At Russell Alexander, our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues, including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. We have locations in Toronto, Markham, Whitby (Brooklin), Oshawa, Concord, Lindsay, and Peterborough.

For more information, visit our website, or you can call us at: 905-655-6335.