The Myth of the Common-Law Marriage
So, you have been living together for more than 6 months, 5 years, time varies in different versions of this huge misconception. The unfortunate truth is that if you have been living together as husband and wife for your whole lives and you are not married, the law does not protect you or your partner.
In the event of death or divorce, this can be problematic. If you are not married, by law you are not entitled to anything, assets will be divided amongst the deceased’s closets living relatives, unless you have a valid will the includes your partner.
A bigger problem happens when you have been living together and the relationship turns sour. All of a sudden there is no law that protects you, you might be a stay at home mom or dad and you will only be able to claim maintenance for the children.
If you do not want to get married, that is fine, but please let an attorney draw a contract setting out the rights and responsibilities of each party.