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I have lived common law with my partner for three years but we never married. Do I need to get a divorce?

No, only married spouses need to get a divorce. It is important to know that couples who have cohabitated together may be considered “common law” partners under the law and may have other legal issues that need to be resolved as a result of separation.

Common issues which arise between common law couples include custody and access, child and spousal support and sometimes considering how to deal with jointly owned property.

As a common law couple, your rights and obligations on separation may be different from a married couple, especially in regards to issues involving property. If children, large amounts of money or property are involved in your breakup, it would be a good idea to speak to a lawyer and have a professional separation agreement drawn up.