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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pension benefits on death - who is a spouse?

The Ontario Court of Appeal has recently dealt with the question of who is a spouse of a man who died while married to one woman but living common law with another woman, for the purposes of figuring out who should get his pension benefits. For those of you who think it's "easier" not to get divorced and just live with someone else while you're still married, take a lesson from this case and realize what a mess you're leaving behind. It took many months, thousands of dollars and an appeal to the higher court before the question was answered.

The court decided that both the married wife and the common law wife fit the definition of spouse under the law, but found there were reasons to disqualify both of them.

Click here to read a report on the case of Carrigan v. Carrigan from Ontario lawyer Chris Staples.

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