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Domestic Relations Act 2008

Wednesday 13th August 2008 11:23   (Updated: Friday 31st July 2009 07:57)

PEI laws are changing to include same sex spouses and common law couples (except in division of property) in the legal definition of "couple" and "spouse".

In June 2008, The Domestic Relations Act was given Royal Assent. This Act changes the definition of spouse to include same sex couples and common law couples. This change, according to The Guardian, Charlottetown's newspaper, affects 60 pieces of legislation. With this new Act, same sex partners will be recognized in The Adoption Act, The Marriage Act, The Family Law Act*, The Consent to Treatment and Health Care Directives Act, among others. These changes must be incorporated into each Act and proclaimed before they take effect. This process will begin with the next sitting of the legislature.

*These changes do not apply to the Division of Property section of The Family Law Act for heterosexual or same sex common law couples.

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