What are my rights when a relationship ends

Ending a relationship - Citizens Advice

what are my rights when a relationship ends

When de facto couples split, they have similar financial rights and aware that if your de facto relationship ended before 1 December , the Court If there are children from the de facto relationship, the Family Court can. The Act covers a relationship ending because of a break-up, but it can also cover a relationship ending because of the death of a spouse or partner. A woman's guide to money, relationships and the law in Ontario When a marriage ends, both spouses have equal rights to live in the matrimonial home.

Myth-busting — What are your legal rights in a long-term relationship? Posted on 12th April Between andmarriage was in sharp decline. This cultural shift, as more people choose to live together, means there is confusion over the rights of individuals in long-term relationships.

With the number of divorce and cohabiting cases on par here at Rothera Dowson, this post answers questions you may have, what you can do and how to navigate a highly emotional period in your life.

What are my legal rights? The most common misconception is the level of entitlement if the relationship breaks down. Put simply, cohabiting gives you no automatic legal rights, no matter the length of the relationship; so claims on the breakdown are limited. The concept of the common law wife or common law husband is not a concept that exists in law.

This means that on separation any decisions can usually appear very black and white, with no consideration for emotional factors. Whatever assets are held in your name belong to you; the same applies for your partner. This can only usually change if the other party can show evidence of significant contributions towards that asset — for instance in respect of property or the making of mortgage repayments. Should I sign a cohabitation agreement?

Signing an agreement will make any breakdown cheaper in the long-run as court cases for cohabiting couples can be more expensive than typical divorce proceedings.

Unmarried couples: relationship breakdown:common law | Woolley & Co

One spouse didn't tell the other spouse about all their debts at the time of marriage One spouse accumulated debt by being reckless, or by purposely acting unfairly One spouse deliberately reduced their property, or spent their money, before the couple separated The NFP of one spouse includes large gifts from the other spouse The spouses lived together for less than 5 years and the equalization amount would give one spouse more than their fair share of the property Property rights for unmarried couples Property includes the money, pensions and disability benefits, real estate, and other assets that the couple owns.

If you are not married: You don't automatically have a right to your spouse's property You can ask a court to order that your spouse give you some of their property, if you can show that what you did during the relationship made it possible for your spouse to get that property or your actions increased its value You must make a claim in court within 2 years after you separate When an unmarried couple separates, each spouse keeps the property they brought into the relationship and anything they bought while they were part of the couple.

The only property that is divided equally is assets that list both spouses as owners. If a couple has a cohabitation agreement, the property will be divided according to what the agreement says. Couples can also write a separation agreement about how to divide the property. See Writing a Separation Agreement. What happens if you can't agree? If a couple cannot agree about how to divide property, they can go to court and ask a judge to decide.

You can ask a court to help divide your property if: You can't agree about how to divide something you and your spouse bought together You and your spouse planned to share property that was only in one person's name The property is in your spouse's name, but you made it possible for them to buy it and you suffered financially because of this The property is in your spouse's name, but you helped add to the value of that property, and you suffered financially because of this You should be able to get some of the value of property that is in your spouse's name if you can show how work that you did helped your spouse to get richer i.

Women's work in the home, including caring for children, is one thing that makes it possible for many couples to get richer. The court often recognizes this work, but fighting for this in court can be a long process and can cost a lot of money. If you think you might have a right to some of the value of your spouse's property, talk to a lawyer. For information on how to find a lawyer see Where to get help when you need it. Property rights for couples living on-reserve The inherent rights to land of Indigenous peoples are not accurately reflected in the Canadian legal system.

Ontario laws concerning the division of property do not apply to land or property on reserves. The Indian Act is the law that applies to land on-reserve.


The Indian Act does not mention how to divide property when a relationship ends. This means that people living on First Nation reserves have no automatic rights to property and land when a relationship ends. However, this promise has not been made into law. For more information about property laws on-reserve in Ontario contact Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto at or at www. Rights to pensions The value of a pension is considered property. The value of the pension for NFP starts on the date that the couple got married and ends on the date of separation.

what are my rights when a relationship ends

A pension administrator will use these dates to calculate the value of the pension. Spouses can decide how to divide the value of a pension in a marriage contract, a cohabitation agreement or separation agreement.

After separation, the amount of the divided pension can be paid to a spouse in regular installments or in a lump sum. The CPP credits that both individuals earned while married or in a common-law relationship are then combined and then split equally between the two people.

what are my rights when a relationship ends

Both married and unmarried spouses have to have lived together for at least 1 year to be eligible to split their CPP credits.

If you're ending a common-law relationship you have to wait 1 year after separating to request that your credits be divided, and you have to make your claim within 4 years after you and your spouse separate. If you're married and separated you have to wait 1 year after separating to request that your credits be divided and there is no time limit after that for credits to be divided.

what are my rights when a relationship ends

If you're divorced you don't have to wait to request that your credits be divided and there is no time limit for credits to be divided. The exchange of credits will be greater the longer a couple was together, and if one person earns a lot more than the other. If you have fewer CPP credits than your spouse, splitting them can be advantageous. If you have more CPP credits than your spouse, dividing them may not be to your advantage.

Relationship property: Dividing your property when you split up - Community Law

There is a day time limit to appeal a decision about CPP credit splitting. Couples may also be eligible to split credits from other types of pensions like pensions from private employers. Rights and responsibilities for spousal support Spousal support is an amount of money that one spouse pays to the other to help them become financially independent when the relationship ends.

what are my rights when a relationship ends

It is meant to make sure that both spouses share the financial effects of separating. Both married and unmarried spouses are responsible for paying spousal support. The amount of support depends on what the dependent spouse needs and on what the wealthier spouse can pay. Spousal support can be one lump sum payment, or regular amounts paid over a set period of time, or an indefinite period of time.

Both spouses must declare spousal support when filing their income tax. The spouse who receives support must declare it as income, and the spouse who pays support can claim it as a tax deduction. Couples can make their own decisions about spousal support. If they do, their decision should be included in their marriage, cohabitation, or separation agreement. If the couple can't agree on spousal support, they can apply to family court and a judge will decide for them.

what are my rights when a relationship ends

The starting point is to consider whose name the bills are in. If your partner has left and has taken their name off the utility bills, then you will only be able to pursue them for maintenance to help pay these if you were married to each other. The only other maintenance which will be available regardless of whether or not you were married will be for children.

Ending a relationship

However this is worked out according to a national calculation, which has no relevance to how much the bills are. If you are just moving in together, you need to think about what would happen if the other person left — and other issues which may arise — who would pay if the roof needed mending, or if the boiler broke down? A living together agreement can cover these eventualities and make it clear who is responsible. What about the contents of the house? If you were not married to each other, then the basic rule is that each item belongs to whoever paid for it.

This can lead to exhaustive battles to produce lists and receipts for items.