The formal starting point of a marriage-like relationship is sometimes difficult to ascertain. As explained in Yakiwchuk v. Oaks, 2003 SKQB 124 at para. 10, people sometimes begin relationships with little foresight or planning, and their motivation is nothing more than wanting to be “together”, with no express discussion or agreement as to how their relationship will operate. What is required is a “holistic” assessment focused on the point at which the parties began living together in a committed relationship. Factors such as intimacy, sleeping arrangements, economic interdependence, pooling of resources and efforts, common recreational and social activities, vacations, and celebration of holidays and special occasions may all be considered, although as explained above the presence or absence of any one or more of these factors could by no means be regarded as dispositive.
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