Law Blawg

Legal information and insight from Edmonton lawyers

Province of the AIPs: The Adult Interdependent Partner.

| December 17, 2018 | by Kimberley Ketsa

People use a lot of different terminology when describing their personal relationships. “Husband/Wife”, “Boyfriend/Girlfriend”, "Common Law", “Roommate”, “Family”, “Partner”, “Ex”, all could mean the same thing, or extremely different, depending on who you’re talking to.

In Alberta, we have one particular name for romantic partners and family members that live together in a ‘domestic’ or ‘marriage-like’ relationships, but are not legally married: Adult Interdependent Partners.

While most people use the phrase "common law", it is not actually the title we use in Alberta family courts. Adult interdependent partners is the proper name for common law couples in Alberta.

So what is an Adult Interdependent Partner?

“Adult interdependent partners” are defined in Alberta’s Adult Interdependent Relationships Act as two people who live together in a relationship of interdependence, being a relationship of:
– at least 3 years,
– of some permanence and less than 3 years, if the couple has a child, or
– who have entered into an adult interdependent partner agreement.

A “relationship of interdependence” is when two people:
– share in one another’s lives,
– are emotionally committed to one another, and
– function as an economic and domestic unit.

For example: Jack and Sue have been dating romantically for 18 months. They live together in Jack’s condo. Jack pays most of the bills because Sue is on maternity leave and doesn’t have much money. Sue buys groceries and pays for dinners out. Next year, they will file their taxes as “common law”. Their baby, Steven, was born this month. Jack and Sue would be considered “Adult Interdependent Partners”.

Another example: Amanda and Ally have been dating romantically for 7 years. They go to family events and vacation together. 3 years ago, Ally bought a house and they moved in together. Ally pays the house expenses and Amanda does all the cooking and cleaning. They are not sure if they will ever get married. Amanda and Ally would be considered “Adult Interdependent Partners”.

A third example: Sandra and her elderly neighbour, Doris, became good friends over the years and decided to move in together when Sandra’s lease was up. They have lived together for 10 years. Doris has some health problems and mobility issues. Sandra helps take care of her. Sandra and Doris split their living expenses. Sandra and Doris could be considered “Adult Interdependent Partners”.

If you are an Adult Interdependent Partner you could have important legal rights and obligations as a result of the relationship. This could include the right to receive or pay financial support, and to share property.

It is important to get legal advice about these relationships. You can enter into an Adult Interdependent Partner Agreement and/or Property or Cohabitation Agreement with your partner, to make sure you are on the same page about your relationship and financial obligations.

To read more about the new property rules for AIPs in Alberta, see my next post here.

common law partners

Share this article on Twitter or Facebook
by copying the link or clicking the buttons
on the bottom left of this page

Kinetic Logo-Stacked-PMS7457

Kinetic Law
#103, 17704 - 103 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
T5S 1J9

Phone: 780-428-1593
Fax: 780-426-6679

Kinetic Law is an association of independent practitioners.

DISCLAIMER: This web site is for convenience and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a comprehensive or detailed statement concerning the matters addressed, legal or otherwise. The information provided is not legal advice or any other kind of advice. You should seek appropriate, qualified professional advice before acting or omitting to act in your personal or legal matter. To get legal advice, you can contact us directly and make an appointment to meet with a lawyer in person. We cannot and do not provide advice on our website or otherwise online.

%d bloggers like this: