Skip to content

Know your Rights – Property Division for Common Law Partners

In September 1991, the Canadian federal government proposed that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantee property rights to Canadian citizens. Every Canadian citizen is guaranteed property rights; however, property rights vary from person-to-person depending on the individual’s marital status, and their situation. Being in a common-law partnership may make you unsure of your property rights as they are quite different than those for married couples.

Making a claim on a Property Owned by Common Law partner

In order to make a claim on a property owned by your common-law partner, you must be in a common-law relationship and are required to provide evidence indicating your contribution (i.e. monetary) that benefitted your common-law partner and the household. Ownership of property becomes very confusing, especially in common law relationships. Contact Pace Law’s team of reputable real estate lawyer to help facilitate the meticulous process.

How do I know if I’m in a common-law relationship?

According to the government of Canada, the case law definition of common-law partner is “an individual who is (ordinarily) cohabiting.” If you and your partner have lived together consecutively for 12 months with little or no short breaks in between, at the same address, you are in a common-law relationship. Common-law division of property becomes very complex and you may not be 100% sure if you qualify for common law sponsorship due to your circumstances. Contact the reputable staff at Pace Law Real Estate to determine help facilitate the decision of property process, as well as distinguish whether or not you and your partner qualify as common-law partners.

Proving Contribution

Seeking legal assistance in proving your contribution to your partner and the property is vital to the division of property process. As stated, division of property is much more complex in the situation of common-law partners as majority of the responsibility lies on the non-owner of the property to prove contribution that benefitted the household, including monetary contribution. Hiring a Pace Law real estate lawyer would aid in facilitating and ensuring a seamless documentation process by ensuring successfully completed legal documents for a successful division of property- including your home. Although a family home is treated like any other asset, and belongs to the person who purchased it, or to both partners if they purchased it together. If you feel as though you’ve made a valuable contribution, monetary or otherwise, over the course of your relationship and believe you deserve compensation, contact the team at Pace Law real estate today!

Protecting your interests

Having the conversation of property division in the case of separation is a difficult conversation regardless of being a married couple or common-law partners. At Pace Law Real Estate, our experienced team of lawyers will guide you through the property division process, informing you of your rights as common law partners and aiding you along the way as well as informing you on what further actions/steps to take in the division process.

As unfortunate as circumstances may be, when going through a life-changing event, it is critical to know your rights and proceed in the correct manner˗ especially when dealing with a complex situation.


Need more information about your rights? Our Pace Real Estate Lawyers Etobicoke and Toronto are there to offer free consultation and answer your queries. Call us on 1-844-PACE-LAW today!