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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 01-10-2009, 08:32 PM
wertyo wertyo is offline
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Default Need Help

Was with my GF for 6 or more years, we had bought a house about 4 years ago but everything was in her name. All my paychecks went into her account where she would pay the bills and buy the grocheries... I never seen any money(ever) I just had to go to work. She would buy me everything I needed for years. She is also extremly jelouse and doesn't let me go anywhere, other than work! She calls me very hurtful names Maybe to lower my selfesteem. We recently broke up, got into a huge drunkin fight, she slapped me accross the face and then I lost it, like usual. I went to jail and charged with sposal assault, now Im waiting for court. We have a little girl( 2 years old) and she has an 8 year old. Everytime she throws me out, I have NO money or anywhere to go. Fortunalty I m at my brothers now, whith no money still waiting for my paycheck. I got paid on the 6th, was in jail that night. that night of in the morning she drainded the bank account. What I need to know is am I entitled to anything? people are telling me that the house is half mine but nothing at all is in my name!! NEED HELP!!
Old 01-10-2009, 11:47 PM
KLD KLD is offline
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Well, did you put the house in her name due to credit issues?
Old 01-11-2009, 12:06 AM
wertyo wertyo is offline
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Umm, I had and have no Credit. She just did everything in her name
Old 01-11-2009, 10:44 AM
pemachine pemachine is offline
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If nothing is in your name, there is no way to prove that you ever paid anything on the house. So, it's her house -- that's the way it will be looked at officially, i think... other than the fact that you lived there with a child you both conceived. That might account for something.

In the meantime, get your own bank account and have your paychecks deposited there until you sort this out.
Old 01-12-2009, 09:49 AM
jankes71 jankes71 is offline
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I assume you are common law which in Canada states that you are entitled to half the property after two years of cohabitating. All you have to do is prove you were helping to support with your paychecks going into her account( get your bank records in order).
Old 01-12-2009, 10:25 AM
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Separated common law spouses have one main way to try to obtain an interest in the property of the other spouse and that is through a trust claim. In a trust claim, the person who does not own the property is claiming that the owner of the property holds a share of that property in trust for them even though there is nothing in writing giving the non-owner a share of the property.

There are bascially two types of trust claims – resulting trust and constructive trust. Trust claims are complicated, technical and expensive and the two forms of trust have subtle differences between them. One thing they have in common however is that the longer the relationship, the more likely it is that a court will impose a trust.

A resulting trust is a presumption that the non-titled owner has a share in the property based on that person’s contribution to acquiring or maintaining the property.

What the court is looking for in a resulting trust claim is evidence of a common intention to share the property. That evidence can be through words or actions. A recent example involved a situation where a man and his parents each placed a 10 percent downpayment on some vacant land. The land was purchased was so the man and woman could build a home and they shared the cost and effort involved in building the home equally. The court decided that the woman should have an ownsership interest in the home because it had always been intended that the home would be shared by the man and the woman and because of her contributions to building the home.

The most obvious evidence demonstrating a common intention to share property is where there is an equal and direct financial contribution to purchasing the asset. For example, if the money used to purchase the home came from a joint account into which both parties deposited money, that fact alone can establish that each party has an interest in the home, even though title to the home is in the name of one party only.

Sometimes a resulting trust will be found to exist based on labour alone. In one case the woman was too young to be placed on title to the property when it was acquired but she and the man had looked for and selected the property together. The man had told her the property was as much hers as his and the woman contributed a great deal to the renovation of the home, including stripping wallpaper, breaking up concrete, painting the walls, etc. Based on these facts, the court held that the woman had an interest by way of a resulting trust

A constructive trust does not require the court to find evidence of a common intention to share the property. This distinguishes it from a resulting trust. Basically, a constructive trust is a remedy that is imposed when the court feels that one party would be unjustly enriched at the expense of the other party if the other party was not given some degree of ownerhsip in an asset.

In order for a cosntructive trust to be found, there has to be an unjust enrichment to the party who owns the property, a related deprivation to the party making the trust claim and no legal reason (e.g., a contract or a gift) to explain the situation.

A constructive trust can be used to establish an interest in savings. In the Ontario case of Trotter v Trotter, the woman stayed at home babysitting the children and cared for her spouse and the home. The woman claimed that she should be entitled to a share of the man’s assets including his pension, his R.R.S.P. and his company. She argued that her contributions allowed the man to save money on childcare and spend more time at work, thus increasing the value of his pension and his savings. The man argued that the spouse had been compensated for her efforts because he had paid for her shelter, food and clothing. The court held that the woman’s housekeeping and childcare duties were valuable benefits that entitled her to share in the husband’s savings, his R.R.S.P’s but not his pension, because the connection was not direct enough.

Still, where the connection between the services provided and the pension can be made (as, for example, where providing child care allowed a unionized worker to work substantial overtime thereby increasing his pension) then a constructive trust may be created
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