A spouse or common-law partner refers to a person who is legally married to another person or who is in a committed relationship with another person, respectively. Here’s a brief explanation of each term.
- A spouse is someone who is legally married to another person. Marriage is a legal and formal union between two individuals, typically recognized by law, that establishes certain rights and obligations between the spouses.
- A common-law partner, also known as a domestic partner or de facto partner, refers to a person who is in a committed relationship with another person, living together in a conjugal relationship, without being legally married. The specific criteria for qualifying as common-law partners can vary depending on the jurisdiction, but generally involve factors such as cohabitation, duration of the relationship, and mutual commitment.
Both spouses and common-law partners often have legal and financial rights and obligations towards each other, such as inheritance rights, spousal support, and property division in the event of separation or divorce. The legal recognition and rights associated with spouses and common-law partners may vary depending on the laws and regulations of the specific country or jurisdiction.