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Separation agreements for common-law relationships

Region: Ontario Answer # 0141

There is no formal process required for common-law couples to separate, and no need for divorce. Common-law couples can dissolve their union at any time, with no required legal action.

Having said that, however, the process of separating can be very complicated, regardless of whether the couple is legally married or living common-law. In many cases, it is advisable to enter into a separation agreement as soon as possible because the agreement will establish and clarify the rights and obligations of each spouse, including:

  • child access and custody,
  • child support,
  • spousal support,
  • division of property, and
  • possession of the family home.

The issues covered and legal requirements of separation agreements are essentially the same for legally married and common-law couples. For more information, refer to topic #105 Separation agreements.

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