Concubinage v.s. Common-Law Marriage

weddingringsIs there a difference between concubinage and common-law relationships?

Merriam Webster Online Dictionary defines common-law marriage as “the cohabitation of a couple even when it does not constitute a legal marriage”. Similarly, it defines concubinage as “cohabitation of persons not legally married”. Does this imply that common-law relationships are synonymous to concubinage?

In Canada, there are over 27 million individuals in a common-law relationship, the majority of the population. This trend is very common in many Western countries as well.  Are these individuals participating in concubinage, a relationship that is socially unacceptable?


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