You have more rights and responsibilities when you get married. If you are not married, you don’t get some rights no matter how long you and your partner have lived together. You have to go through a legal marriage ceremony to be married.
Living together in a marriage-like relationship without getting married is often called “living common-law” or “cohabitation”.
Married couples and common-law couples usually have different rights to:
- property and debts
- the family home
Only married couples can get a divorce.
Married couples and common-law couples usually have the same rights related to their children. This includes their rights to:
- child support
This site contains general educational information. It is not intended to be used as legal advice.
Sources: Ministry of Attorney General and Community Legal Education Ontario