Common Law SeparationWe are here to help you get through your separation

Common Law Separation

Going through a separation is not only emotionally draining, but can be a time-consuming and costly endeavor. This process will take a lot out of you, but we are here to help you get through it.


Our team of lawyers and legal experts will help you navigate through the challenging legal terrain of separation. Separation is tough, and our goal is to make this process as easy and stress-free as possible for you. We understand that no two relationships are the same, and we will work with you on a plan that meets the unique needs of your situation.

Common law spouses do not need a divorce but they are entitled to apply for spousal support, child support, division of property, and parenting arrangements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a spouse?

A spouse is a married couple or an unmarried couple who have been living together for a period of at least 2 years.

Do common law partners need a separation agreement?

No. A separation agreement is generally a good idea, but it is not required. All separation agreements are meant to do is confirm in writing the agreement between the partners about possible claims under the Family Law Act. See Spousal Support, Child Support, Division of Property, and Parenting Arrangements.

How does common law separation work?

It is like the breakdown of any romantic relationship, except spouses have acquired rights under the Family Law Act. That doesn’t mean either party must make a claim, only that they can. Common law spouses only have 2 years after separation to claim division of property and spousal support.

How do I figure out when we separated?

Separation doesn’t always mean moving out, but the relationship has to end. Typically, it requires one of the spouses to make it clear the relationship is over through words or actions. There are cases where parties have separated and continued living together in the same home for decades.

What about Common Law separation with child in BC?

Parents have a right to parenting time, parenting responsibilities, and child support whether or not they were married. The only consideration of the court is, what is in the child’s best interest?

What is the difference Common Law separation vs. divorce?

The main difference between common law separation and divorce in BC is the amount of time the parties have to apply for spousal or division of property: common law spouses must apply within 2 years from separation; married spouses must apply within 2 years from the date of the divorce.

What is a common law separation agreement?

It is an agreement where the parties settle all legal matters that arise from the breakdown of their relationship.

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