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.

Property Rights
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.

Spousal Support
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.

Cohabitation Agreement
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.


  1. Shelley-Reply
    April 30, 2013 at 10:22 am

    So if Im understanding this correctly, my boyfriend and i will be common-law once i give birth to our child in November?

  2. Stanley A Murray-Reply
    August 22, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    My former partner and I have recently separated after 9 years of cohabitation the property deed is in my name only. The only thing we claimed common law for was for income tax filing.
    She did not contribute financially to mortgage payments,home or property upgrades, maintenance, appliances,heating, electricity, or telephone and internet charges.lawmower or snowblower purchases or vehicles.Does she have any legal rights to any of my assets, chattels ,furniture ,appliances, vehicles, etc.

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