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Since we're on the topic of marriage and weddings, I thought I'd to a post on how in my province (BY THE WAY HAPPY BC DAY EVERYONE!), there have a few changes proposed to family law. A few weeks ago, it was reported that BC Common Law couples are going to get marriage rights. The government is open to comments from the public until early October, and will likely change the Family Law act in 2011.
This is pretty huge. I did a post on cohabitation agreements and common law separations a few months ago, and I was surprised to learn that common law couples do not get the same rights as married couples in British Columbia… I always thought that if you were together for two years, and you split up, then you get equal division of assets. The actual case is that if you are a common law spouse and you split up, and you never contributed rent for his or her mortgage or anything to the relationship, then you walk away with nothing.
The government proposes to change all this, considering that 40% of British Columbia marriages end in divorce before the 30th anniversary (that is really sad, IMO). They believe that these changes should help protect women and children who are in common law relationships.
What do you think of these changes? Do you think they are good or bad? I know that in each province and each state in the United States, it is different. It's worth the time to check out what the common law rules are in your jurisdiction if you plan to live together common law.
In any case, I think that if you want to protect your assets in the event of separation, then it is a good idea to discuss with your partner the idea of written agreements if you want to opt out of this new change. Again, I know talking about the idea of common law separation isn't sexy, but it's necessary. I think that this new law change is an opportunity for us to talk to our significant others about these practicalities for ‘worst case scenario' planning.
Do you and your honey talk about money?
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