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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 05-13-2009, 09:05 PM
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Default Commonlaw issue.

Hi all, I have a situation and I figured I would come here and try to get advice and feedback from those far more knowledgable than me!

A friend of mine, has lived with her now ex boyfriend for 3 years. They live in a house that she bought previous to meeting him, and lived there for a year by herself before he moved in.

Upon moving in, they agreed that he would pay 700$ a month for rent. During the first year, there was a third "roomate" so the bills were split 3 ways. the following 2 years he paid 700$ a month.

Now, on to the issues. During the relationship, the boyfriend needed a vehicle, but had terrible credit rating. They verbally agreed that she would buy the vehicle on her home equity loan($33,000), and he would pay her back. He made an initial payment of 10,000$, then proceeded to make no payments after that intial one, only making his 700$ a month rent payment.

He has spent around 2,000 over 3 years of living there on groceries and household supplies, stopping completely stating that he wasnt going to pay for anything, since she did not apprectiate it. So, all of the bills, groceries, household items, utilities, mortgage, taxes, as well as the interest payments on the truck, were *her* responsibility. Added to the truck, were 2 other incidents in which he said he would pay her back, 2,000$ for laser eye surgery, and around 1500 for a course he needed for work.

On his side, he has done some minor renovations, such as removing old and installing new windows in the house, some exterior and interior paints, about 3 hours of tile work, and he cut down a branch. However, the windows were installed with no ledges or trim..so they are just kind of siliconed into a hole in the wall...they work, but obviously look terrible...and when he did the exterior painting, he used a spray gun...resulting in many neighborhood cars covered in a green spray of house paint, the worst of all being the girls black car, which was covered front to back in a nice fine mist of green paint. Also, she paid for almost all of the supplies and materials for these "reno's".

Now, on to work...He makes almost twice what she does, and she was at the time working up to 4 jobs at once, just to keep the household afloat

There is also a history of violence. Extremely heavy emotional abuse, isolating her from friends and family, as well as multiple physical abuse incidents, culminating in rather terrible incident where she had no choice but to leave her house. She moved out of her own home, begging him to leave, but instead he just squatted, taunting her and telling her to call the cops if she wanted him out. During this time, he also called her mother, whos husband had passed away 10 years previous and basically said "I know you have all that money from when he died, so cut me a cheque and ill get out of your daughters life"....which im pretty sure is extortion.

After 3 weeks of not being able to enter her own home (violent, unstable ex-boyfriend with firearms doesnt make a happy home) she was forced to press charges. Shortly after that, guilt, and good ole battered wife syndrome kicks in, and she does everything she can to drop the charges. She takes him back out of guilt, only to have him verbally abuse her within 7 days. However, one of the stipulations incurred by the court for dropping the charges was that they co-habitate until the court date, without any incident of violence, so she stayed quiet about it, and for the most part, other than a couple verbal attacks, it was fine. Now, the court date has finished, and she gave him to the end of april to be out of the house. Half way through April he said he needed more time before he could move out. She agreed that she would let him stay until the end of may, because she needed the rent money, and was trying to be as civil as possible.

Now, on to the more unpleasant traits of this fella. He has spent the last 9 months or so manipulating and convincing her that if they were to go to court, she would lose badly, and end up losing her house, and owing him a large sum of money. He demanded that before he left, that he get a lump sum of $15,000, the truck free and clear,(leaving her with a 23,000$ bill + interest) all of his debt gone from her, Eyes, course, etc, as well having her repay him for lawyer fees incurred from her pressing charges after being assaulted, since it was her fault for pressing charges.

Recently, friends of hers have finally been able to get through to her, and convince her to seek legal help in this, rather than just handing over thousands of dollars to this guy.

She has now retained a lawyer, and is moving forward slowly. Unfortunately, she did not keep reciepts other than to have her bank statements of her accounts over the last 3 years. She of course had no idea something like this was going to happen, as with most people, doesnt go in to a relationship expecting to have to go to court at sometime in the future to try to get money out of the person youre with. He on the other hand, has. He has kept most reciepts from day one, and although it does not matter, I believe he got in to this relationship in the first place, with the intent of taking her for as much as he could.

Also, he has somehow been able to get his lawyer to draw up statements saying false things, like that he paid for all the supplies and materials for the renos, out of his own pocket, that he paid property taxes and house insurance....all of which is untrue. He has also changed his tune now saying that he has been paying 700$ a month for the "mortgage" and not rent. He claims he has basically been paying for the house...He also put a lien on her house...in december, without her knowledge.

Anyway, back to him being in the house still. A few days ago, she told him that she had retained a lawyer, and will not just be handing over thousands of dollars to him. She is now again living out of her own house, as it is extremely unnerving and uncomfortable for her to be there with him. He is saying he will leave at the end of may, but has also said that since they were (he says ARE...theyve been broken up since september) commonlaw that she has no right to remove him from HIS home. I am concerned that even at the end of may, he will refuse to leave, leaving her to find another place to stay until this is all resolved.

This man will lie through his teeth to get what he wants, I spoke with him for about 3 minutes, and watching him jump from lie to lie was flawless and fast. He told me that he has been paying mortgage payments, and its his house too. I said no, its her house, and she can ask you to leave at any time, returning your rent, the notice was given for the end of april. He responded by saying "the tenants agreement says she has to give me written notice 30 days in advance" So within 8 seconds he went from paying mortgage to paying rent, whichever suits his needs.

Anyway, thats all I can think of for now, any and all advice or feedback is very appreciated. Also, if more information on individual subjects is needed, please let me know and I will be happy to fill in. Thanks again!
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