Spousal Support for Unmarried Couples
In Alberta, common law couples are legally known as adult interdependent partners if they are in an adult interdependent relationship. At the end of the adult interdependent relationship, an adult interdependent partner can bring a claim for spousal support under the Family Law Act.
Under the Adult Interdependent Relationships Act, Chapter A-4.5, there are two possible ways to establish an adult interdependent relationship:
- There is a formal and valid adult interdependent partner agreement between two persons to become interdependent partners; or
- Two persons have:
- lived together in a relationship of interdependence for at a continuous period of not less than 3 years; or
- lived together in a relationship of interdependence of some permanence, if there is a child from the relationship, by birth or adoption.
If the two persons are related to each other by blood or adoption, then they can only become adult interdependent partners by entering into a formal and valid adult interdependent partner agreement.
A “relationship of interdependence” is a relationship outside marriage in which any two persons, share one another’s lives, are emotionally committed to one another, and function as an economic and domestic unit.
An adult interdependent relationship ends when one of the following occurs:
- There is a written agreement that provides evidence that the adult interdependent partners intend to live separate and apart without the possibility of reconciliation.
- The adult interdependent partners have lived separate and apart for more than one year and one of the adult interdependent partners intends that the adult interdependent relationship not continue.
- The adult interdependent partners have lived separate and apart for more than one year and both adult interdependent partners intend that the adult interdependent relationship not continue.
- The adult interdependent partners marry each other.
- An adult interdependent partner marries a third party.
- An adult interdependent partner enters into an adult interdependent partner agreement with a third party.
- An adult interdependent partner has obtained a declaration of irreconcilability under section 83 of the Family Law Act.
- Both adult interdependent partners have obtained a declaration of irreconcilability under section 83 of the Family Law Act.
If you have any questions regarding either getting or receiving support from your girlfriend or boyfriend, contact one of our family law lawyers in either Calgary or Edmonton, Alberta, for a free consultation.
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