Legal Studies 1030

Section 1 - the Law and relationships

Lesson 4 - Adult Interdependent Relationships Act


In Alberta, the term "common law" is no longer used. The law regarding common law relationships in Alberta recognizes adult interdependent partners. The new law is set out in the Adult Interdependent Relationships Act. It has applied in Alberta since June 2003.

Under the Adult Interdependent Relationships Act, Alberta has created a category of relationship known as adult interdependent partner. An adult interdependent partner is someone:

  • living in a relationship of interdependence for at least 3 years; or
  • they have lived in a relationship of some permanence, have a child of the relationship by birth or adoption;
  • share each other's lives;
  • are emotionally committed to each other;
  • and function as an economic and domestic unit.

You can also become an adult interdependent partner by entering into a written adult interdependent partner agreement. If you are an adult independent partner, you have the right to spousal support and various estate rights.