Common Law PEI
In Prince Edward Island legal relations between people in a conjugal relationship are governed by the Family Law Act. This act states that two people who have lived together for three or more years in a conjugal relationship, a two people in a conjugal relationship with a child, are considered spouses.
The property division provisions of the Family Law Act, including the provisions regarding possession of the matrimonial home, only apply to spouses who are married. So, common law spouses in PEI have none of the legal rights to the division of property that married spouses have, nor do they have a right to stay in the matrimonial home upon separation if they are not on title.
Both married and common law spouses have the same right to spousal support in PEI.
Child Support & Child Custody
If you live in Prince Edward Island, or for that matter anywhere in Canada, the laws regarding child custody and child support are the same regardless of whether you are married or not.
A common law partner in PEI has few of the rights that a married partner does. In particular, if you are living in a common law relationship and your partner dies, then you have no right to an inheritance.
A cohabitation agreement is an agreement entered into by common law couples to set out their rights and obligations when their relationship ends. You can use a cohabitation agreement to shape your rights and obligations to conform with your and your partner’s values.
In terms of the division of property upon separation and death, common law couples in Prince Edward Island are treated very differently by the law from married couples.