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Divorce Marriage

Tips to protect life partnerships in the absence of Common Law Marriage

Matrimonial law has ongoing developments and changes.

Photo by Alexander Suhorucov from Pexels

Of particular interest now is the draft bill that will recognise religious marriages and long-term partnerships as deserving of the same protections as formal unions.

The new legislation seeks to recognise all unions under one Act.

The expansion of the definition of ‘spouse’ means that other pieces of legislation, such as the Pensions Act, will now be operative in these previously unrecognised relationships, says Advocate Anderssen. The Act will also make it clear that the absence of registration of the partnership is not going to mean invalidation in the event of future claims. It’s not clear when the Act will be promulgated, but it should finally provide all kinds of unions with equal protection under the law.

In the interim, till the bill is promulgated here are some tips to protect your partnership legally;

  • Talk things through as if you are entering into a marriage;
  • Enter into a clear written cohabitation agreement;
  • Discuss who will pay for what in the relationship;
  • How will assets be split if the relationship ends;
  • Will the caregiver of the children be entitled to rehabilitative maintenance if he or stopped working to take care of the children?

Good communication in any relationship is essential. Proper planning reduces costs and animosity in the long term, should the relationship end. At Schuld Incorporated we have in depth legal advice on the topic and if you need a contract, we have properly drafted agreements on our website.