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Common Law Issues The law regarding common law relationships is different than in cases of divorce. Discuss the issues that affect unmarried couples here.

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Old 03-14-2009, 08:11 AM
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Default Common law and lawyer

Good morning all,

I have some question (obviously) My common law wife got a lawyer from legal aid, and her lawyer had given me until a certain date to give her the name of my lawyer. I have not found a lawyer to my liking or one that I can afford. I had reply to give me more time. Meanwhile I have asked that lawyer to tell me what they want, I am not getting any response by letters from this lawyers from legal aid. Is there a limitation in time and can that lawyer force me out of my house, it is in my name and I am the only one paying the bills and mortgage. Take note that my common law wife still live in the house. Also I was sent a form 13.1 to fill by this lawyer at first, and I really do not want to fill a form until I do find a lawyer, Do I have to provide anything that this lawyer asked like income tax etc..

THank you
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:18 AM
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Your CLW's lawyer is not going to give you any information as they are waiting to send it to your lawyer when you provide them with that info.
If you decide to represent yourself then they will send you that info.

If you have no idea about how anything works you should retain a lawyer. Waiting to find an affordable one isn't going to happen.

A lawyer cannot force you out of your home.

It is standard to fill out a Financial Statement and provide proof, i.e. income tax assessments. Your CLW's lawyer is trying to get the ball rolling.
These will definately be needed to determine support issues (if their are any).
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:03 PM
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My ex has made $22,092 according to her scanned work sheet or $18,719 if you go with the receipt she received. This person does not pay rent or any amount on my mortgage, house insurance, municipal taxes, pay minimal utilities (4 or 5 small bills during the 2008 year). Does not have car payments or car insurance. Does not paid any of the $46,000 (approximately) of debt accumulated by our past relationship and I have to fight off a system with unlimited resources on about 300 to 500 a month left in my pocket. While on average she makes $2077 a month and only have to pay for grocery for her business and liability insurance for the year ($400). By paying all the bills and debt I subsidized her business. Also her legal aid Lawyer has not reply to any of my request , she has sent me one letter asking for a name of a lawyer by the 20 Feb 2009, I am trying to find money and despite my search have not find one yet that does not want money upfront. I cannot defend myself as I do not know enough about the law. And for sure cannot swing a $1000 upfront.
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:36 PM
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Sorry to read that you are having a tough time Max. Family Law is certainly not easy, and a number of us on this site learned how to do things via numerous questions and reading to fight without lawyers. The duty council available before court was a great resource for me, along with members on this site, as well as canlii.org
Try to find out if there is a FLIC office in your area, and when someone is available for you to speak to them for advice. It can be a daunting task, and nerve-wracking, but sometimes what can help is knowing that no-one other than you knows your case like you do.

I started the process at first using a lawyer, and after far too long and no results, I had to give up the fight. I took to reading and asking questions, swallowed my fear and tried again in July 2008. As of February 2009 I have a final order in place, and the only time I saw a lawyer (other than duty council and the lawyers sitting in court of course) was to have a paper notarized for FRO when filling out the initial forms.

Best of luck to you, whatever method you choose.
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Old 03-15-2009, 12:15 AM
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Lawyers and the courts should be a last resort.

What is the situation, what does she want? Have you been able to speak with her (you live together still!!), about what she wants. I suggest just talking about the concept of what she wants - dont talk numbers, just talk ideas at first. The numbers are the easy part (simple math!) but first you have to decide what is fair. Spending countless thousands on lawyers is not going to do either of you any good.

Initially she may want more then she is entitled to, based on improper input from her lawyer, but if you discuss what is fair, given what happened in your relationship (money, career, etc), maybe you will be able to come to a fair agreement, avoid the lawyers, and the courts and end your relationship with dignity (that does not mean given her what she does not deserve, nor ignoring the realities of what is fair)

Any couple that uses lawyers has a least one person that is not reasonable. That is a truth.
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Old 03-15-2009, 06:52 PM
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Thank you Kimberly I will check it out
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Old 03-15-2009, 06:55 PM
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Bill m,

I want to avoid the lawyer, but my CLW is the one that stopped the negotiation, since she has legal and what she says to me often, is that when somethings comes up she always answer more support for me. I am not sure how much support is for CLW when we have been common law (officially) for 5 years only by the Ontario guideline.
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:10 PM
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I would think that IF any spousal support is ordered, considering that she is making money and has the ability to be self-support, plus a short-ish CL union that it would be low and for a short amount of time.
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:06 PM
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There is no presumption of mutual support upon the breakdown of a common-law relationship or marriage. According to the Supreme Court of Canada in Bracklow v. Bracklow [1999] 1 S.C.R. 420, there are three bases for entitlement to spousal support:
1-To compensate a spouse for hardship or opportunities lost due to the marriage or its breakdown;
2-To fulfill a contractual agreement, express or implied, that the parties were responsible for each other's support; or
3-On a non-compensatory basis, to assist a spouse in need.


Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines

However, this government site offers some answers surrounding Spousal Support and the way the courts could go about calculating them.
As well as sample calculations for various situations. Albeit this site is for married couples.
The tendency in CL unions is that in order to be considered for support the relationship would have had to have been a relatively long one, plus have children OR a strong form of finical dependence.
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:55 AM
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When she moves in she said she was going to have unemployment, then take courses etc, she never did and I was found in a place where having a pension from the government and salary was not even enough. I went thru my severance pay package in the first year. Since debt has accumulated but she never took any employment. I cannot resolve this with her as she is stuborn and will not talk to me without a witness. In the meanwhile she still operate a business in my home, she is the worst nightmare a man can have. She just won't leave and if I get her out she will claim that I cut her business and cannot make it on her own. So either way I am toast, She tried to get a condo, how can she expect to qualify for that even with a co-sign from her parents. I feel I am being played and there is boxes in the house for packing, and sometimes I expect the house to be emptied when I return.
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