What Rights At Law May Common-Law Spouses Not Have That Married Spouses Have?

A common­law spouse may not have an equal right with the other spouse to:
  • live in the matrimonial home;
  • an equalization of property acquired during their relationship together.

He or she may have only the property of which they can show personal ownership.

On the other hand, a court will consider the contribution of one of the spouses to the matrimonial home or to the assets acquired during their relationship together, and the longer a couple has been living together, the stronger are the remedies available.

Rights to child support are similar to those for married parents.

A claim for spousal support requires that the parties have lived together continuously for five years and must be made within one year of separation.

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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