Adult Interdependent Relationships in Edmonton and Alberta

Adult Interdependent Relationships in Edmonton and AlbertaNot every long-term, romantic relationship culminates in marriage.

It is important for couples in long-term relationships to understand that Alberta law gives many of the same rights and obligations to non-married couples as to those who are married.

In Alberta, the Adult Interdependent Relationships Act was passed in 2003 to give rights and obligations to couples in qualifying long-term relationships.

At Chadi & Company, we have been helping clients in Edmonton and across Alberta navigate the dissolution of adult interdependent (common-law) relationships since 1991.

Adult Interdependent Relationships Law in Alberta

“Common law” is often used to describe a couple that lives together, with or without children, but is not married.

However, the term “common law” is no longer used in Alberta laws. The Adult Interdependent Relationships Act was passed in 2003 to give common law rights and obligations to couples in qualifying long-term relationships.

The term “common law” is still used by other governments in Canada. For example, the federal government still uses the term for income tax purposes or for the purpose of receiving federal government benefits.

According to the Adult Interdependent Relationships Act, a person is the adult interdependent partner of another person if

(a) live together in a marriage-like relationship for three or more years, or less time if they share children; or

(b) enter into an adult interdependent partner agreement.

Without an agreement, however, they may also be subject to the same disadvantages of a traditional married couple if they decide to end the relationship.

In addition to the criteria above, a couple in an adult interdependent relationship must also:

(i) share one another’s lives,

(ii) are emotionally committed to one another, and

(iii) function as an economic and domestic unit.

When an adult interdependent relationship comes to an end, the domestic partners, known as adult interdependent partners (AIPs), may disagree about how to divide property acquired over the course of their partnership.

In order to avoid this type of issue from arising, it is in your best interest to enter into an agreement with your AIP.

Need help with drafting an Adult Interdependent Relationship Agreement?

Call us today at (780) 429-2300 or request a free consultation. The legal team at Chadi & Company can help you and your partner draft such an agreement to protect your rights and best interests.

Adult Interdependent Relationship Agreement

What Is Adult Interdependent Relationship Agreement?

An Adult Interdependent Partner Agreement is a legal document indicating that both parties have agreed to enter into an adult interdependent relationship.

any 2 persons who are living together or intend to live together in a relationship of interdependence may enter into an adult interdependent partner agreement in the form provided for by the regulations.

A person may not enter into an adult interdependent partner agreement if the person

(a) is a party to an existing adult interdependent partner agreement,

(b) is married, or

(c) is a minor, unless (i) the minor is at least 16 years of age, and (ii) the minor’s guardians have given their prior written consent.

What Should Be Included?

In order to adequately protect property and assets, however, the AIPs should also consider entering into a cohabitation agreement. This agreement allows both parties to detail their obligations and roles in the relationship, as well as indicates how to divide property and whether support should be provided in the event of a separation.

Although there is no such thing as a “common law” marriage in Alberta, couples living in marriage-like relationships have the same rights and obligations as married couples.

This means that the end of such a relationship, which is still often referred to as common-law separation, can be just as complicated as a traditional divorce.

Entering into an adult interdependent partner agreement and drafting a cohabitation agreement can prevent future legal battles over the division of property and financial support if you end the relationship.

An experienced lawyer can help you decide whether this type of arrangement is advantageous for your unique situation.

The format for an Adult Interdependent Partner Agreement can be found here.

Contact Chadi & Company Today

If you have questions about how to protect your rights in an adult interdependent relationship, the skilled legal team at Chadi & Company can help.

We have successfully represented countless clients in common law and AIP cases, and our compassionate, knowledgeable family law team will ensure that you fully understand your rights and options before moving forward.

At Chadi & Company, we have been protecting the best interests of our clients for over three decades, and we have an impressive track record of obtaining favourable results in a swift, cost-effective manner.

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