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Alberta commonlaw

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  • Alberta commonlaw

    I've been living with a woman for 8 years in Alberta. I understand that if I own (no mortgage)the house that we have been living in before the relationship started ,she would be entitled to 1/2 of what that house has appreciated as well as any investment income from stocks, RRSPS and Pension in that same time frame. I was being payed some money for 5 years to help with groceries and bills, she also has a fulltime job and there are no children involved. It is a bit confusing because I read a PDF file form the Alberta Law site saying that what ever property I owned before is mine but says nothing about appreciation.
    any advice?

  • #2
    The rules in Alberta are very different from Ontario.
    Here is a link to a site that will explain how the family law system deals with common law unions.

    Here is an excerpt,

    "Although there are exceptions, the general rule is that property
    belongs to the person who paid for it and who has registered it in
    his/her name. Thus, any property that you bought before or
    during the common-law relationship belongs to you and only to
    you. You do not have a legal right to property bought by your
    partner simply because you have lived together for a period of


    • #3
      I'm really confused because I did talk to a lawyer and he is the one that sayed that I would have to share any appreciation of my property.I had mentioned the article you sent and that is what led me to this conclusion.
      Do I need a second opinion?I see no grounds for a trust to brought into play because I did not gain finiancially from this relationship(in fact I'm poorer because of it).


      • #4
        In Ontario the equity is up for asset splitting in a CL union provided the length of time frame has been met.
        If only one name is on the deed, then the other party would have to show cause for such a split as it is not automatically done.
        Usually the "Unjust enrichment" Claus is used to facilitate this along with documentation that the party contributed to the increased value and maintenance etc.

        Perhaps I am mistaken but the site I sent you to was updated in 2007.
        So unless there has been a significant change with Alberta family law would suspect it to be accurate unless there are exceptions not mentioned.


        • #5
          You don't say whether litigation has started. If so, I assume your ex would be the plaintiff and making a claim against your property?

          Even though I'm in the middle of my cl separation, it's been explained to me that in BC whatever assets I came in with, I leave with. If the property is in your name only, it's your asset.

          Unfortunately I put my stbx on title. What happens now because of this is I counter claim with a constructive trust against the half that is in her name (unjust enrichment) I am to pull together evidence to prove my contribution to "her" 1/2 property to vary the division from 50/50 (joint tenant) to what they call equitable split (as apposed to equal). My list will include renos/repairs/dates, bills, mortgage etc.

          I would think that if you own it solely, that she would be the one that would have to prove via contribution/trust that she's entitled to some of it.

          Same with your RRSP/pension. If she was taking care of household expenses while you were accumulating these, she could have an unjust enrichment claim for part. If you didn't "benefit" from her "deprivation" then I don't think she is entitled.

          If she was accumulating RRSPs while you were paying expenses, I would think you'd be entitled to some of this.

          If I ever get in a clr again, I will keep everything in my name and spell out her entitlement in my will. I can change a will without a lawyer and in a matter of minutes.


          • #6
            The litigation hasn't started but I was going to try to get an agreement first. The money that recieved barely if at all covered my extra expenses
            of her living with me.I bought 90% of groceries and paid for all upgrades and maintenance myself. If anything I have lost finiancially because of this relationship. But I will be willing to give her some compensation to get her on her feet.


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