Divorce 101 FAQs

My partner and I have never been officially married. Do I still need to get a divorce?

Although partners who have lived together for some time may be legally considered  “common law” partners, only married spouses are required to get a divorce. However, common law partners may have other legal issues that need to be resolved as a result of separation. These issues commonly include:

  • custody and access,
  • child and spousal support,
  • dealing with jointly owned property.

It is important to highlight that common law couples have different rights and obligations than married couples. This is especially relevant when considering issues involving property. Children are another crucial factor. If you and your common law spouse are separating and there is property, money, or children involved in the dispute, it is advisable to speak to a lawyer who can design a separation agreement that protects your rights.

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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), Lindsay, and Peterborough.

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