McLeish Orlando lawyer, Nick Todorovic, and Student-at-Law, Ryan Marinacci, wrote this piece for The Lawyer’s Daily.
The Court of Appeal for Ontario in Climans v. Latner, 2020 ONCA 554 (CanLII) recently confirmed that partners in a committed relationship can still be considered spouses under FLA s. 29 even though they maintain separate households throughout the entire relationship.
The Court found that Justice Shore had correctly interpreted the legislation and articulated the governing principles in determining that the parties were spouses.
The issue was whether the Applicant met the definition of “spouse” under FLA s. 29. She and the Respondent had been in a relationship for 14 years but had maintained separate residences the entire time. Despite their separate households, Justice Shore concluded that the Applicant and Respondent were spouses under the FLA.
Justice Shore acknowledged that this was not a clear-cut case.
Given the decisions in Climans, partners can be spouses and FLA damages should flow, even where both individuals formally maintain separate households.