Recognizing the de facto (common law) status of former spouses

In order to be recognized as former de facto spouses (whether same-sex or opposite-sex), the following conditions must be met:

  • Before the conjugal breakdown, the former spouses have to have lived together in a conjugal relationship for at least 3 years, or 1 year if a child was born or is to be born of their union or they adopted a child together.


  • The plan member must not be married or in a civil union.


Only the member must not be married. This requirement does not apply to the member's former de facto spouse.

A member who is separated from bed and board is considered to be married, and therefore his or her former de facto spouse cannot be deemed to have spousal standing.

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