Encyclopedia > Common-law marriage

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Common-law marriage

In many jurisdictions, common-law marriage is a legal provision whereby two people who are eligible to marry, but who do not obtain a legal marriage, are nevertheless considered married after living together openly as a married couple under specified conditions for a specified period of time. Depending on the jurisdiction, this may include special provisions for benefits, filiation[?] and adoption, inheritance, and divorce.

Several Canadian provinces currently recognize common-law marriage between same-sex partners. Quebec has never recognized common law marriage though a recent amendment to the Civil Code of Quebec recognizes a type of domestic partnership called civil union that is similar to common-law marriage and available to same-sex partners.

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