Common law couples do not have the right to seek an equalization of family property under current Ontario legislation – this fact cannot be overstated. As discussed in a previous post by my colleagues:
Division of property is dealt with in Part I of the Family Law Act. When married couples separate, generally speaking they are entitled to divide their property equally between the two spouses, regardless of who legally owns the property. Under the Family Law Act, “spouses” are entitled to divide their property on the breakdown of the marriage. “Spouse” is defined as either (1) two people who are married to each other, or, (2) two people who entered into a marriage that is either void or voidable, in good faith. It does not include “common law couples” – even couples who have lived together for more than least 3 years, or are living together and are the parents of a child. So, what does that mean exactly? It means that common law couples cannot look to the Family Law Act
Determining Factors for Spousal Support Entitlemen
The Supreme Court of Canada in Bracklow v. Bracklow identified three bases for spousal support entitlement: contractual, compensatory, and non-compensatory, Contractual support would be support based on any agreement that existed between the parties. Compensatory support is meant to reimburse the spouse for choice’s they made during the marriage that required them to sacrifice professional success in favour of the marriage. Non-compensatory is based on the need of the spouse, determined according to the economic interdependency created during the marriage. The longer the marriage, the greater the amount of interdependency, and the longer that may be required to unravel it.
There are generally two different methods used to determine both the amount and duration of spousal support: the with child support formula, and the without child support formula. Regardless of the formula applied, both calculations originate from s. 15.2 of the Divorce Act. The Divorce Act sets out, that in making a spousal support order the Court shall consider the means needs and other circumstances of each spouse