The Importance of Common Law Separation Rights in Ontario

Oct 12, 2023


When it comes to common law separation rights, Ontario provides legal protection for individuals in relationships that have not been formally married. Understanding your rights and responsibilities in a common law relationship is essential to ensure fairness and protection for both parties. At Borden Family Law, we specialize in providing expert legal services to guide you through the complexities of common law separation.

Understanding Common Law Separation

Common law separation refers to the end of a relationship between two individuals who have been living together without getting married. In Ontario, common law partners have legal rights and obligations similar to those who are married. It is important to note that common law marriage does not exist in Ontario, and simply living together for a specific period does not automatically grant the same legal rights as being formally married.

Legal Rights in Common Law Separation

Common law partners in Ontario have rights related to property division, child custody, and child support in the event of a separation. It is essential to understand these rights and ensure they are protected. Here are some key legal rights:

Property Division:

Similar to married couples, common law partners in Ontario may have rights to property division upon separation. The division of property depends on various factors, including how long the couple has lived together, contributions made by each partner, and whether the couple has a cohabitation agreement.

Child Custody and Support:

When it comes to child custody and support, common law partners have the same legal obligations as married couples. The best interests of the child are the primary consideration in determining custody and support arrangements. Ontario's Family Law Act outlines the guidelines for child support.

Spousal Support:

In certain situations, common law partners may be entitled to spousal support. Factors such as the length of the relationship, financial disparity between partners, and contributions made during the relationship are considered when determining spousal support.

Protecting Your Rights

To protect your common law separation rights in Ontario, it is crucial to take certain steps:

1. Cohabitation Agreement

A cohabitation agreement is a legal document that outlines each partner's rights, responsibilities, and how property will be divided in the event of a separation. Having a thorough and comprehensive agreement can help avoid disputes and streamline the process if a separation occurs.

2. Seek Legal Advice

Consulting with professional lawyers specializing in family law, such as Borden Family Law, is crucial to understanding your rights and navigating the legal complexities of common law separation. Our experienced lawyers can guide you through the process, ensuring your rights are protected and advocating for your best interests.

3. Document Your Contributions

Keep a record of financial contributions, property acquisitions, and any other relevant information during the course of your relationship. Documentation can be valuable evidence when determining property division or support entitlements.

4. Child Custody and Support

If you have children, it is important to establish clear custody and support arrangements. Working collaboratively with your ex-partner or seeking professional mediation can help ensure the well-being and stability of your children during and after separation.


Common law separation rights in Ontario play a crucial role in protecting individuals in relationships that have not been formally married. It is vital to understand your rights and seek professional legal advice to safeguard your interests. At Borden Family Law, our team of expert lawyers is dedicated to providing exceptional legal services and ensuring that our clients' rights are protected throughout the common law separation process.

common law separation rights ontario
Lavon Hazard
This article was a great read! It cleared up my queries about common law separation rights in Canada. Very helpful and informative.
Nov 10, 2023
Oluseyi Lala
I found this article very informative. It clarified my questions about common law separation rights in Canada.
Nov 9, 2023
Are common law separation rights consistent across all provinces in Canada? I'm curious to know the differences.
Nov 7, 2023
Alisa Coccari
Is it the same in other provinces too?
Nov 1, 2023
Is it the same in other provinces too?
Oct 17, 2023
Giulia Galli
Valuable information on legal rights for unmarried couples in Ontario.
Oct 14, 2023