Family Law Questions Regarding Common Law Relationships? Posted onJune 21, 2016September 4, 2020/ Devry Smith Frank LLP In this video, Host and producer of Real Estate 101, Joe Terciera speaks with Toronto family lawyer John P. Schuman on the definition and specifics of common-law relationships. John P. Schuman is the head of family law team at Devry Smith Frank LLP and is a practicing family lawyer. John is asked “When are people legally considered common law?” Well, it depends on the purpose. For taxes, people are legally common law when they have been living consecutively for 12 months, or they have a child together. For benefits, you really have to talk to your benefits provider, but for family law purposes, you are a common law when you have lived with your partner for three years, or you have child together through birth or adoption. If it has not been three years and you don’t have a child together, you are not common law yet. Is being common law the same as being married? For tax purposes, it is very similar, but for family law, it is very different. All that common law means from a family law perspective is that you can claim spousal support from your spouse or your common law partner. Watch the video to learn more about common law relationships and common law rights in Ontario. We have three locations to serve you: Toronto, Barrie & Whitby For more details or information on family law matters, kindly contact one of our family lawyers directly. To view other Ontario law videos and other practice areas, please visit our media page.