Do common law couples have the same property rights as married couples?

December 12, 2016

Does a couple that lived together, but were not married, have the same rights to claim property as if they had been married?


  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. Sort of


The answer is “No”. Unlike married spouses, a couple who lived together but were not married (known as common law partners), do not have any statutory property rights in Ontario. However, either of the common law partners can bring a claim against the other under resulting trust or constructive trust principles. To apply these trust principles, the party bringing the claim must prove (i) enrichment of the other party; (ii) deprivation suffered by the claimant and (iii) the absence of a legal reason for the enrichment of the other party.

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