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Common Law and Child Support (His child previous marriage)

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  • Common Law and Child Support (His child previous marriage)

    I am splitting up with my common law of 5.5 years.
    He has a child (17 yrs old with learning disability) living with us.
    I have paid most of his bills (mortgage and credit cards and house bills) for over 2 years now while his ex-wife just keeps getting additional retroactive payments and higher child support for the 3 children that live with her. His garnishment was over 50% for over 2 years now.
    In addition, the house we got together is solely in his name and I have put in approx. $35,000 in renovations into this house in the past 3 years. His contribution is about $5,000.
    He is now done paying and all of a sudden, he doesn't need me. (Please no rude comments about my stupidity and gullibility... been there done that.
    But he has threatened me that he will take me to court for child support for the child that lives with us.
    I found cases that say yes, this is possible.
    Now, with the background above, will a judge actually award him child support?
    He is very aggressive and acrimonious towards his ex-wife and they have been in court 42 times in 10 years. He self represents, so I am not putting this past him to do.

    Also, what do I do if he tosses me out of the house, like, I just found out he can because my name is not on the deed and we are common law.

    Thank you

  • #2
    It depends. Some provinces look at common law the same as married, others do not.

    At the core of it, you were a tenant in his home and paid rent/utilities. So the corresponding increase in value of the home you MAY not have any entitlement too. I would believe however, that the money you put into renos you WOULD be able to ask for back.

    It's a sticky situation and you are probably best served by speaking to a lawyer.

    In regards to the 17 year old...did you act as a parent towards him? THAT is the kicker and THAT is what your ex would need to prove. Who stayed with the child when he was sick? Who took him to doctor's appointments? Who met with the teachers/etc.


    • #3
      NBDad, Thank you for your reply.

      Yes, all me... he was too busy being depressed and drinking because of the loss of his 3 daughters. I pretty much raised that kid for 6 years. And I live in Ontario.


      • #4
        He very well COULD argue that you be forced to pay child support. BUT (and this would be your argument if he tries):

        Is HIS child support to his ex (for the other kids living with her) reduced at all by the fact he has the 17 year old living with him? Does the 17 year old have any relationship with his mother? Does he call you Mom?

        The legal term for what you are asking is "in loco parentis" literally "in place of a parent". It's generally reserved for when you get a new partner when the child is very very small, and they grow up essentially ONLY knowing the new partner as the parent. (ie. the other bio parent is not involved or is involved VERY VERY little).

        This is one of the few times where entitlement to child support needs to be proven, it's not automatic, he has to make a case for it.


        • #5
          OH BOY OH BOY! Again thank you!

          She has abducted the children and moved away. Left this kid and hasn't really looked back. He has seen her about 10 times in 5.5 years.
          Talked to her about the same amount.
          He's relationship with siblings is as about the same.

          So what you're saying is get a great lawyer and pray to God I get a sympathetic judge!

          Another question... how long would I have to pay for. This kid may be in school another 2 - 4 years with no chance of post secondary.
          Thank you


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