How to get a Common Law Divorce? You never married so no divorce is needed.
Common law marriages do not require a divorce.

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Common Law? Since You Never Married, A Divorce Is Not Required.

However, a separation agreement is definitely recommended. Separation agreement kit Click here Click here to see the CanLaw Separation Agreement

Your Rights and Obligations: The Basics for Common law Couples on Separation.

Generally it takes a two or three year long relationship before the rules for division of married couples property apply to common law relationships.
Consult a lawyer for legal advice on separating.   Find a lawyer referral service Click hereCanLaw's lawyer referral service will help you find a lawyer

CanLaw's Guide to the Law on Divorce, Separation, Custody, Access and Support issues for the Layperson

Applies to Divorce in Ontario, Divorce in PEI, Divorce in Quebec, Divorce in British Columbia, Divorce in Alberta, Divorce in Manitoba or anywhere else in Canada

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You need a Travel Consent form Click here Travel Consent Form to board a plane or leave the country.

What is a common law relationship?

Two people living together as a couple in a "marriage like relationship" are considered to be in a common law relationship. This applies to normal and homosexual or lesbian couples.

There are no legal formalities, no "piece of paper" or no religious ceremony required. Since there was no "legal" marriage, there is no need to get a divorce. In fact you cannot get a divorce, simply because you never married. You just go your separate ways and are free to marry at any time.

Generally common law couples must continuously cohabit for two or three years (depending on your province) before acquiring some, but not all, of the legal rights and obligations accorded married couples.

Common law relationships can not turn into legal marriages over time.

Some provinces permit the "registration" of your common law relationship which grants you most of the same rights as a married couple.
(But then "registering" is in a real sense the same as getting married isn't it, so are you no longer common law?)

No divorce is required upon separation because no marriage ever existed.

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Need proof of your Canadian Divorce?
Divorce certificate form Click hereClick here to get your Divorce Order or Certificate of Divorce

What do the courts use to determine what cohabitation is for the purposes of acquiring rights on separation

The lifestyle of the couple in these seven areas are the usual factors considered by the courts

  1. Shelter: Did you live together in the same home?

  2. Sexual and Personal Behaviour: Was your relationship intimate, interdependant and did others see you as a "couple?"

  3. Family: Did you live in the traditional manner as a family and function as a family?

  4. Community perception: Did others regard you as a "married" couple?

  5. Support: Were you both economically interdependant on each other?

  6. Children: Were children of either parties seen as a part of your life?

In Ontario, and in many other provinces in Canada, unmarried spouses are excluded from the matrimonial property sharing provisions of the Family Law Act.

The Supreme Court of Canada has recently made it easier for unmarried spouses, or common law couples, to obtain a more equitable division of assets accumulated during the relationship in circumstances where the relationship can be described as a family unit, or as the Court put it, a "family joint venture." This may also be referred to a common law family trust.

It has been acknowledged that in cases where there has been a relationship of some length, a common law spouse may have some right to a share of the property not otherwise in their name. In order to do this, the partner seeking a share of the property has to make a constructive trust claim.

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What are the major differences upon separation between being married and being in a common law relationship?

  1. Division of Property: Generally each person keeps what belongs to them upon separation and is responsible for their own debts

  2. Common law does not give any right to equalize family property acquired during the relationship. There is a vague legal concept called "unjust enrichment" which is difficult to prove and requires a very lengthy and expensive court battle to establish. It is seldom worth the cost and trouble. . . at least under present laws

  3. The Matrimonial Home: Unless you own the home you have no rights to a share in its value upon separation. In fact you could be removed from the house at any time with no notice or recourse. You are in a sense a guest in the home and little more.

  4. Common law relationships bestow no ownership in the "matrimonial home."

  5. Support: You must have lived together for two or three years (depending on your province) to have any rights to receive (usually the woman) or obligation to pay ( usually the man) support payments after you separate.

  6. If you have a child together you may have some support rights.

  7. You must apply for support within 2 years of separation or you lose all rights to any support payments

  8. Hidden Assets: Common law partners have no right to prevent the other party from depleting or hiding assets pending separation

  9. Inheritance: Common law partners have no right to share in an estate where your partner dies without a will.

  10. Nor do you acquire any rights to a "fair share" of his estate if he does not leave you what you want in his will.
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What are the main similarities between marriage and common law relationships in Canada?

  1. Child Support: Your child support rights and obligations are the same whether you are married or common law. The woman gets and the man pays.

  2. Child Custody: The old shibboleth "the best interests of the child" is applied. This usually means that the best interest of the mother determines who gets child custody and support. In Canada men have virtually no chance of getting custody of their children. They only get to pay and pay and pay without any rights whatsoever, even after they die

  3. Death Relief: Where a party depends on the support of the other, upon his death, the woman may even be able to get support even from a dead partner's estate. (Sounds like an incentive to murder?)

  4. Name Change: Parties in a common law relationship can change their names as they wish. The children's surnames may be changed in some circumstances. LEgal advice is needed to determine what you can do with your children's names

  5. Adoption: Common law parties (whether normal or homosexual) have the same rights to adopt childen as legally married couples do.
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Common law marriages do not require a divorce.
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