De Facto Relationships in Canada
Forthcoming in Jens M. Scherpe and Andy Hayward (eds.), The Legal Status of De Facto Relationships (Cambridge: Intersentia)
29 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2022
Date Written: March 8, 2022
This chapter surveys the legal approach to unmarried cohabitation in three Canadian provinces: British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec. The jurisdictions exemplify varying approaches: assimilating unmarried partners to married spouses for virtually all purposes, including them partly in family law, and applying a policy of laissez-faire, by which cohabitation entails no reciprocal rights and obligations under family law. Courts have, however, developed the general private law, chiefly unjust enrichment, to palliate the economic harms arising when cohabitation ends.
Keywords: unmarried cohabitation, Canada, family law, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec
JEL Classification: K19, K36
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation