Am I a Spouse?

Am I a Spouse?

As with many things in law, the answer is, “It depends.”

Unfortunately, we need to know the reason someone is asking the question in order to determine whether someone is a spouse for that particular situation – oh how the law makes things complicated! Spouse has many definitions.

There are two different definitions under the Family Law Act alone. One involves marriage and results in property and support rights; the other is common law (defined by time living together or having a child) and triggers support rights only.

And to make matters muddier, the courts are starting to migrate certain property rights into common law unions. Then again, if you are asking because you are buying a house and want the first-time buyer’s benefits, there is yet another definition.

You will find some further information on rights and obligations in our “What We Do” section of our website. Or we’d be pleased to meet with you to discuss your personal situation.