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Spouse or Common-Law Partner Amount

What is The Spouse or Common Law Partner Amount

The spouse or common-law partner amount is a help service provided by the Canadian Law and Order. It is a non-refundable tax amount. This is a Canadian caregiver amount for families.

Usually, claiming a spousal amount indicates that one of the spouses depends financially on the other spouse. There are certain criteria that you must fulfill to claim the amount.

In this article, we thoroughly look into the common-law partner in Canada. We will also know about how you can collect the spousal amount.

What is a Common Law Partner in Canada?

Common-law partner in Canada has a very specific definition. The main idea of a common-law partner in Canadian law is cohabitation.

The term cohabitation means to live together and function as a family. You can always live together with your partner once you have married.

This is the first step towards becoming a common-law partner. However, you must follow one very strict rule. The Canadian law will determine you and your partner as a common-law partner only when you have lived together for a complete year.

Many people want to find a way around the one-year threshold by living with their partner at different times. They accumulate the overall time spend together at home as the total cohabitation period. But that will not be accepted according to the law.

There cannot be any gap in living together. Therefore, the cohabitation period must be continuously done for a whole year.

Nevertheless, the partners like wife or husband can be separated in certain situations. If the partner has left home due to work, study, or business travel, it is acceptable. However, this gap must be for a short period of time.

How to be a common-law partner in Canada

Once you have lived together for at least one year, you should now look to prove that. This will enable you to be eligible to collect the common-law amount.

Several things can prove a common-law relationship. The most obvious one is the share of the property. If you and your partner share a piece of property together, that proves how serious the relationship is.

Moreover, you can also share rental agreements, utility bills, and joint accounts. If you and your partner share any one of these, that will be enough to prove as a common-law partner.

Besides, you can include the address you and your partner live together in official documents like insurance policies or driving license.

How to Sponsor My Common-Law Partner in Canada

If you fulfill the one-year threshold of living together, you are already eligible to sponsor your partner. However, there are certainly other factors.

You must be over 18 and have the ability to take care of your partner. This involves emotional, mental, and financial capabilities. You must be capable enough to take care of any child to be born from the relationship. Also, if there is any dependent child involved already, you should have the capacity to take care of the child and the mother.

On the other hand, certain things will deem you ineligible to sponsor your partner. One of those is being a previous sponsor of your ex common-law partner. This also includes taking the common-law partner amount and not paying back the amount timely.

Spouse or Common-law Partner Amount: A Brief Understanding

The government gives the spousal support amount to support the living standard of common-law partners. The non-refundable tax amount is closely related to the Canada employment amount.

If your spouse had a net income of below $13,229 at any certain time of a year, you could collect the common-law partner amount. Just meeting this requirement at one particular time of the year will enable you to collect the amount for the whole year.

So, you may ask yourself, can I claim my spouse as a dependent in Canada?

You certainly can. In fact, this will increase your opportunity of getting the money. You can support your spouse at any time of the year when her income was less than the mentioned amount.

Moreover, if your spouse is mentally unstable or has experienced a tragic physical impairment, you are eligible to support your spouse. Your spouse will become dependent at that time.

You should also consider the possibility of a separation. If you break up with your partner at any time during the year, there are certain rules to be followed. You can only claim an amount as per the income before the breakup occurred. Nevertheless, you can still get the full amount if you and your partner are back together after a breakdown.

How to Separate from Common Law Partner?

Separation under a common-law partnership can be a bit complex. Since you and your partner may not have been married, there is no formal process. You can easily dissolve and end things on your own terms with your partner.

However, the separation process itself is quite complicated. The Canadian Justice System advises every couple to go into a separation agreement as soon as possible.

This agreement will clarify and distinguish the rights of both the parties involved. For instance, child custody, child support, property division, and possession of the home can be used for determining your right to the ex-relationship.

You will have to remember that the rights and obligations will not be determined similarly as a legal marriage if you are separated. All the rights mentioned above will be very different. It is advisable to seek professional lawyer support for the whole process.


Spousal or common-law partner amount is a great helping hand for struggling families. Even though certain criteria are to be fulfilled, anyone who takes care of their partner with less than the income threshold amount can apply for the non-refundable tax amount.

However, you should be careful about the application process. If you do not fulfill the criteria and follow the basic suggestions, you may never be eligible to acquire the amount in the future.