Race and Company Blog

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When do you become common law in British Columbia?

Have you ever wondered what happens if your partner moves in and you break up after two years? Are you considered common law in British Columbia? Will you have to split all your assets? In this short video, Race and Company Family Law Lawyer, Karin Emond, walks us through real-life examples of what happens after you separate. You can reach Karin at k.emond@raceandco.com.

After two years of living together in a marriage-like relationship, couples in BC automatically take on the financial obligations usually associated with marriage. In other words, you’re automatically considered spouses—colloquially known as “common-law”, under BC’s Family Law Act of 2013—unless you actively opt-out.

Couples who have been living together for two years share the same legal rights as married couples in BC, including a 50/50 split of debts and assets—excluding pre-relationship property, inheritances, and gifts. A partner in a common law relationship can also be entitled to spousal support.



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Our lawyers provide expert advice and advocacy in a variety of areas of the law, including personal injury, insurance defense, Worker’s Compensation appeals, real estate, business law, and estate planning. The lawyers of Race & Company LLP have been proudly serving Sea to Sky country and our worldwide clientele with local knowledge and proven integrity since 1973.

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