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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 03-13-2017, 08:46 PM
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Default Common Law Separation

Hello,

I'll try and keep this relatively brief.

Just a few questions with regards to a possible common law separation.

I've lived with my spouse for 17 years. We live in a house we jointly own (have for 10 years) (**both names on title**) and have a beautiful 9 year old son. My spouse works, I do not. I am a full time homemaker and, technically, the primary caregiver to my son and have spent the most time raising him day to day, though we are both enormously involved with raising him. Due to generalized anxiety issues, I've not been employed, save for odd jobs, the entire length of our relationship.

My questions are thus:

1. Regarding the home. I pay the electricity and gas. She pays the mortgage or property taxes and has during the 10 years we've owned the home. I put up most of the down payment, as well as paid for a new roof. I do all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, yardwork, etc. Domestic chores, if you will. My question is am I entitled to half of the equity in the home if it was remortgaged or sold?

2. Spousal support. I don't have an income and our arrangement would be shared custody, 50/50.

3. Child support.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-14-2017, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVCanada View Post
1. Regarding the home. I pay the electricity and gas. She pays the mortgage or property taxes and has during the 10 years we've owned the home.
How do you pay for electricity if you are a stay at home parent?

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am I entitled to half of the equity in the home if it was remortgaged or sold?
Your name is on title, why would you not be entitled to half of the equity? She would have to argue for an unequal division, and I don't think she has any real chance of successfully making that argument.

Quote:
2. Spousal support. I don't have an income and our arrangement would be shared custody, 50/50.
If you were female, it would obviously be slam dunk indefinite spousal support. Even as a male though, I think you are a fairly clear cut case for spousal support. Minimum 10 years, probably more. How long have you been out of the workforce?

Quote:
3. Child support.
Why would you not automatically get child support? She makes more than you. another no brainer.

Your questions seem to imply that you think you might not qualify for support because you are not married. The only major difference is that the matrimonial home division is not automatic, and you guys have been together long enough that for all intents and purposes you are married. 17 years is a long relationship.
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Old 03-14-2017, 01:20 PM
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It sounds like you're paying some of the bills. How have you been supporting yourself up until now? If she's been supporting you the whole entire time you've been not working, then you have a strong case for SS but if you've been paying half the bills on your own, she theoretically could make the argument that you do have some sort of income.
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Old 03-14-2017, 02:48 PM
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It sounds like you're paying some of the bills. How have you been supporting yourself up until now? If she's been supporting you the whole entire time you've been not working, then you have a strong case for SS but if you've been paying half the bills on your own, she theoretically could make the argument that you do have some sort of income.
Sorry, I should have explained. I have an arrangement with a parent for the hydro and gas payments. It amounts to approximately 180 dollars a month. I was also in a band for a couple years up until a few months ago, which was approximately 200-300 dollars a month.

Sorry for the confusion. I guess I was thinking in terms of a job, rather than little bits of spending money.
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Old 03-14-2017, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
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How do you pay for electricity if you are a stay at home parent?



Your name is on title, why would you not be entitled to half of the equity? She would have to argue for an unequal division, and I don't think she has any real chance of successfully making that argument.



If you were female, it would obviously be slam dunk indefinite spousal support. Even as a male though, I think you are a fairly clear cut case for spousal support. Minimum 10 years, probably more. How long have you been out of the workforce?
The entire length of our relationship.

As far as the equity goes, since she's paid for the mortgage, taxes, home insurance and compared to the small amount I've brought in (due to an arrangement with a parent) I thought this might be an issue.
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Old 03-14-2017, 03:03 PM
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You better get your emotional/mental health in order because you will be imputed an income and will need to contribute. Even with 50/50 and/or SS, you have a portion of the relationship to provide for and you wont be able to live off the proceeds of the sale of the house forever. Add in legal fees and youve got some serious cash flow questions.
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Old 03-14-2017, 03:45 PM
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You better get your emotional/mental health in order because you will be imputed an income and will need to contribute. Even with 50/50 and/or SS, you have a portion of the relationship to provide for and you wont be able to live off the proceeds of the sale of the house forever. Add in legal fees and youve got some serious cash flow questions.
Yes, understood. I guess I'm dealing with the anxiety of having enough time to take steps to be able to return to school and eventually find a job while being in a position to take care of my son somewhat close to how I have been. This is all very stressful and, quite frankly, terrifying at times for me. I guess these aren't uncommon concerns for a stay at home, but regardless.

So I'd be imputing what exactly? The 180 I'm bringing in via an agreement with a parent?
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Old 03-14-2017, 03:53 PM
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Your ex could argue for whatever field you worked in prior to staying home or a part time income of $25,000 per year with the expectation you will increase your income.

You will also need to prove your inability to work and a plan for moving forward for school etc. These plans could also impact your parenting plan for 50/50. She could argue that youre not fit and/or your school may impact your ability to parent. There are a number of tactics she could take which you need to prepare yourself for as well.

Im not trying to upset you or make you anxious, simply trying to prepare you for a battle that you arent truly seeing. This case is more than just the equity in the home.
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Old 03-14-2017, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
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Your ex could argue for whatever field you worked in prior to staying home or a part time income of $25,000 per year with the expectation you will increase your income.

You will also need to prove your inability to work and a plan for moving forward for school etc. These plans could also impact your parenting plan for 50/50. She could argue that youre not fit and/or your school may impact your ability to parent. There are a number of tactics she could take which you need to prepare yourself for as well.

Im not trying to upset you or make you anxious, simply trying to prepare you for a battle that you arent truly seeing. This case is more than just the equity in the home.
I know you're not and I appreciate all of the replies and help. I truly am clueless about a lot of this and trying to navigate through all of this has been incredibly difficult.

There was no field previously. She has supported me, more or less, through the entire relationship, (save for help from time to time from family) with the understanding that I take care of the home. When we had our son, it was decided that she work and I continue my duties at home and become a stay at home parent.

Where does the 25,000 come from?
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Old 03-14-2017, 04:08 PM
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Its a part time job income
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