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Domestic Relations Act proclaimed

Monday 21st December 2009 06:17   (Updated: Tuesday 22nd December 2009 09:21)


On December 19th, the Domestic Relations Act was proclaimed, changing the legal definition of spouse on PEI. This law changes many other pieces of legislation on PEI to include same sex and common law spouses.


With the proclaimation of the Domestic Relations Act, the definition of spouse has changed in Prince Edward Island.

The Domestic Relations Act amended the Family Law Act  to redefine “spouse” as:

•       two people who are legally married or

•       two people who have lived in a conjugal (sexual) relationship for 3 years or

•       two people who are living in a conjugal (sexual) relationship and are the natural or adoptive parents of a child or children

In our Family Law pamphlets, you may find text that talks about mothers and fathers and husbands and wives. Please ignore this language. Instead, the text should read “parents” and “spouses”.

Please note that in provincial legislation concerning the division of property, a spouse is defined as a person who is legally married. Common-law spouses do not have the same rights as married couples in division of property.

CLIA will be revising Family Law pamphlets as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

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