A common law relationship is where two people, who are not married, live together in a 'marriage-like' relationship. This means that they not only share a home, but they refer to themselves in public as spouses or partners, and share things like bills and other finances. A common law couple may or may not have children together.
The Parenting and Support Act (PSA) was introduced on May 26, 2017. This Act provides one definition for ‘spouse’, which includes relationships typically described as common law relationships. The definition of spouse under the PSA includes parties who are not married to each other and:
- have lived in a marriage-like relationship continuously for at least two years, or
have lived in a marriage-like relationship and have a child together