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Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
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Experience:  Lawyer
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I am trying to determine if my girlfriend who is pregnant

Customer Question

I am trying to determine if my girlfriend who is pregnant with our child is eligible for my company’s group benefit plan. We reside in Saskatchewan and have just recently moved in together this month and my benefit package from Sun Life defines a spouse as “your spouse by marriage or under and other formal union recognized by law”.
It is my understanding that in Saskatchewan common law marriage / relationship is defined and reconized under most acts when a couple has lived together for a period of 24 months or greater. (The Adoption Act and The Change of Name Act, The Adult Guardianship and Co-decision-making Ac, The Dependant's Relief Act, The Evidence Ac, The Health Care Directives and Substitute Health Care Decision Makers Ac, The Family Maintenance Ac, The Family Property Act). However, only The Family Maintenance Act, The Dependant's Relief Act take this definition one step further and define a spouse relationship as including one where two people have cohabitated as spouses
(i) continuously for a period of not less than two years; or
(ii) in a relationship of some permanence if they are the parents of a child.
I am trying to determine which definition of a spousal relationship from the multitude of acts applies for my application to include my pregnant partner / girlfriend in my company’s benefit package. And is it only active when she gives birth? Does my insurance benefit package fall under federal law (which I am sure includes in a relationship of some permanence if they are the parents of a child), or provincial law which is very confusing to say the least?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 3 months ago.

In Saskatchewan you are not considered to be common law spouses at this point in time.

In most case you have to have lived together for two years first. But under the Family Maintenance Act you are spouses if you are cohabiting and have a child together.

So once the child is born Sun Life should cover your spouse and child.

Does that answer your question?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
am I understanding that Sun Life's definition of a spouse recognized by law fall's under the Family Maintenance Act? Can Sun Life say that any other acts that exist in Saskatchewan are applicable and void my application because they do not specifically define a common law spousal relationship if we have a child?
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 3 months ago.

They don't specify the Act so they are bound by any Act that states you are spouses according to the wording you provided me.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ok, that sounds good to me. Since Sun Life does not define what is "recognized by law", The Family Maintenance Act would be most applicable to my situation as the act covers dependents. Thank you this helped clear up a few things. Take Care
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 3 months ago.

You are very welcome.

Good luck with the birth.

Take good care.

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