The issues in the preliminary hearing for this case were (i) whether the parties were involved in a common law union and what the material dates of that union were and (ii) whether an agreement entered into between the parties barred the applicant from bringing her claim for maintenance and division of property. The applicant alleged that the parties lived together as man and wife for eight years. The respondent claimed the first two years involved a sexual relationship only and that they did not live as man and wife for the last four years of their relationship because the relationship was unstable. He also contended that the parties had “more of a business relationship.” Under Belize law, a “common law union” is a “relationship that is established when a man and woman who are not legally married to each other and to any other person cohabit together continuously as husband and wife for a period of at least five years.” The court analyzed the evidence of the relationship and found the respondent’s evidence to be “lacking in credibility.” The court found there to have been a common law union for eight years.
Supaul v. Lalchand