AS A COMMON-LAW SPOUSE, DO I HAVE AN ABSOLUTE RIGHT TO A DIVISION OF PROPERTY OR SUPPORT?
Persons who are not married do not have an absolute right to make a claim to divide their spouse's property upon separation. The Family Law Act of Ontario provides that only married couples may apply to divide their property. A non-married spouse does have limited entitlement to a division of property under very strict circumstances of constructive or resulting trust, unjust enrichment, or a joint family venture.
These grounds are very technical and should be explored with your Family Law lawyer to see if you qualify to make such a claim. Persons in a common-law relationship, with a duration of over three years or where a child has been born from that relationship, may be entitled to spousal support. A lawyer would review the couple's relationship on a case by case basis, to determine if a property claim is justified. A lawyer would also advise you regarding your support obligations or entitlement
The above information is of a general nature and is not intended to provide legal opinions. Readers should seek professional legal advice on the particular issues which concern them. We would be pleased to elaborate on any information contained above and how it may apply to your specific circumstances.