Marriage is a significant milestone for many people; however, it’s not the only form of household arrangement, as some people choose to live common law. Whether it’s a marriage or a common-law relationship, the decision to align your life (and, as a result, your finances) with another individual is a major decision that carries financial planning implications.
There is no uniform definition of a spouse across Canada. Legislation varies by province regarding granting rights to partners in a marriage or spousal (common-law or same-sex) relationship. The federal government has its own definition of a "spouse." In Quebec, spouse refers to a married spouse.
Quebec’s Civil Code does not recognize common-law spouses (called de facto partners). However, legislation may still assign rights to de facto spouses to receive benefits in certain circumstances. If you are in a common-law or de facto relationship, check out the legislation of your province to identify your status and rights.
Proper financial planning, with your spouse/partner in mind, can go a long way towards ensuring a healthy and lasting relationship. Pay close attention to the following topics.
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