At What Point Are People Who Live Together Considered By Law To Be Spouses?

People of opposite sexes who live together, not married to each other, may be considered spouses:
  • under the Family Law Act, if they have been living together for five years ­ less if they have a child together;
  • under the Income Tax Act, if they have been living together for one year;
  • various employee benefit plans will determine the criteria for applicability of health, dental and insurance plans to common­law spouses.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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