How does Alberta Laws view common law unions?
At Verhaeghe Law – our Edmonton family lawyers have experience in dealing with the dissolution of common law unions as well as providing legally enforceable agreements for couples who are considered common law. However, it is important to note that in 2003 – Alberta laws have replaced the word “common law” with a newly coined legal term referred to as “adult interdependent relationship”. These relationships now have similar rights to that of married couples. Contact our office today and let us help you with your legal needs regarding your common law relationship/adult interdependent relationship. In the meanwhile, here are some commonly asked legal questions with regards to these types of relationships in Alberta.
1. How is a common law relationship now defined in Alberta?
This term historically referred to describe a couple that lived together but were not legally married. However as of June 2003, this term is no longer used in Alberta in a legal sense and has been replaced with “adult interdependent relationship”.
2. How long do you have to live together to be considered common law in Alberta?
As of recently, the term common law is no longer used to refer to unmarried couples who have been living together for an extended period of time. The term formerly referred to as common-law unions has been replaced with “adult interdependent relationship”. In order for a couple to be considered in an adult interdependent relationship – they must have resided with each other for at least three years or having an existing adult interdependent partner agreement in place. There are other stipulations that apply or may deem an adult interdependent relationship void which is described in more detail below.
3. What is the Adult Interdependent Relationships Act?
This Act cements the fact that the courts view adult interdependent relationships (formerly referred to as common law unions) with legal recognition. However, there are a number of factors that couples must satisfy in order to be considered as an adult interdependent relationship. Call an Edmonton family lawyer for more information on what these factors are.
4. What is an adult interdependent partner agreement?
This is an agreement that is mutually accepted and agreed upon by both parties in an adult interdependent partnership. In order for this document to be legally recognized – we recommend you hire an Alberta based family lawyer to draft it for you as it must be in the form that is provided in the Adult Interdependent Partner Agreement Regulation and include a series of details.
5. Can same-sex partners be adult interdependent partners under the Adult Interdependent Relationship Act?
Yes absolutely. However, there are certain conditions that must be satisfied under the Adult Interdependent Relationships Act in order for same sex partners. For example, some of these stipulations include that the couple must be living together for at least three years or that there must be a child in the relationship (either by birth or adoption) or the couple has entered into an adult interdependent partnership agreement.
6. When is an adult interdependent partner agreement not valid?
Yes there are instances when an adult interdependent relationship may not be considered valid. Especially if the agreement was made under duress, fraud or undue influence at the time the agreement was signed. Additionally, if one of the parties did not have the mental capacity to understand what they were signing into or if the parties were not living together or one of the parties were already married – the agreement is not legally binding. There are other situations as well where the agreement may be deemed invalid. Contact an Edmonton family lawyer for more information on this topic if this situation may pertain to you.
7. Do adult interdependent relationships laws equal to laws for married couples under the Matrimonial Property Act?
The Supreme Court of Canada has said that laws that discriminate against those living in common law relationships as compared to those who are married may be deemed invalid. The legalities surrounding this question are not entirely clear or present at the matter and will require legal interpretation. If this situation may pertain to you – we recommend you contact an Edmonton family lawyer today.
8. If I enter into an adult interdependent relationship can I insure the life of my partner?
Yes this can be done because the Adult Interdependent Relationships Act amended the Insurance Act to allow partners to have their lives insured. Additionally, there are also rules which permit partners to receive specified insurance benefits as well.
Speak with an Edmonton family lawyer today regarding your adult interdependent relationship legal needs
If you are considering entering into an adult interdependent relationship and would like to have legally binding agreements in place – contact us today because our lawyers can assist you with this. Furthermore, if you have additional questions regarding the adult interdependent relationships and require legal advice – a member of our legal team will be happy to speak with you. Contact us for a consultation today by calling 587-410-2500 and speak directly with one of our Edmonton family lawyers today.
*Please note the content in this blog does not constitute legal advice as every case is unique from one another. Child support calculations are best supported by legal advice based on your specific circumstances. This blog offers a general overview and does not constitute legal advice. We encourage you to seek legal advice for answers related to your divorce and/or family law questions.