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What Rights At Law May Common-Law Spouses Not Have That Married Spouses Have?

A common­law spouse may not have an equal right with the other spouse to:

  • live in the matrimonial home;
  • an equalization of property acquired during their relationship together.

He or she may have only the property of which they can show personal ownership.

On the other hand, a court will consider the contribution of one of the spouses to the matrimonial home or to the assets acquired during their relationship together, and the longer a couple has been living together, the stronger are the remedies available.

Rights to child support are similar to those for married parents.

A claim for spousal support requires that the parties have lived together continuously for five years and must be made within one year of separation.