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Common Law - Division of property

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  • Common Law - Division of property

    Hello, this is my first post and have read so many thus far.
    My situation:
    Living in Ontario. Me and my boyfriend decided to buy a house, due to poor credit rating, the mortgage and house is completely in my name. We both put the same amount of money for the down payment. He has been paying for the mortgage and bills as agreed. I pay for food and other things as well. We have been living together for almost 2 years.
    We were engaged and I decided to cancel the wedding two months before the date. I have been nicely telling him for almost 5 months I do not want to be with him. Finally he somewhat understood. The next day after the break-up, he dissappeared for 2 weeks, all I received was an e-mail stating he was ok. He did not tell me where he was going, for how long, and if he was coming back. Since he gave his whole family a key to our house and they sneak in when I am at work, I changed the locks and moved all his belongings into the garage where he had access to, as I left that door unchanged. He actually left the country and when he came back, I received no phone call. He came home at 2:30am, intoxicated and broke down the door . I kicked him out and called the police. One of the officers told me I cannot do this and I have to get a lawyer right away. And since we have been living together for over 6 months, everything goes to half.
    Is this true?
    I have been very co-operative. I told him to take what he wants and I will put the house up for sale and give him more than half of the profit. We have not had a thorough discussion. Biggest problem is that this guy is an alcoholic and one day he is nice and the next day he flips out. I do not want to go to a lawyer just yet because I want to resolve this peacefully. I just do not know what my rights are?
    I thought I was legally doing the right thing. He is verbally abusive and a very good manipulator, so I just want to be prepared before I speak with him. We have no kids (thank goodness). Any info would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    The officer is wrong, in Ontario you have to be living together for 3 years to be considered common law.


    • #3
      Please read the following carefully a) Is a Common Law Relationship The Same as Marriage in Ontario? : Ontario Family Law Blog

      and b) Family Law Information CentreĀ (FLIC) Locations - Ministry of the Attorney General

      The last link contains all the Family Law information Centre's in Ontario. Find the nearest one to you and go get some free legal advise sooner than later. You need to know what the laws are regarding your situation.

      Good luck


      • #4
        Originally posted by blinkandimgone View Post
        The officer is wrong, in Ontario you have to be living together for 3 years to be considered common law.
        it's not always so straight (about 3 years)
        as for property - property belongs to person who payed for that...

        and yes it's good that there is no kids (from that point of view) - make things much much easier....


        • #5
          Yes, it is. Ontario law says 3 years for common law when there are no children involved. Pretty straight forward indeed. They are living together less than 2 years so common law does NOT apply.

          At most, it's a property settlement issue. Given that the house is in her name, his payments would be considered rent which he isn't entitled to have back given he would have had to be paying rent/expenses regardless of where he lived.

          If you are looking to sell the house then give him his downpayment back plus a share of any increase in value up until he moved out up until the time he moved out and send him on his way. (provided he has not been paying the expenses since moving out, if he has then he gets a share of the increase up to the current date)

          As for posessions, you each get what you brought into the relationship, joint purchases should be divided (or the value of joint purchases divided).


          • #6
            Originally posted by blinkandimgone View Post
            Yes, it is. Ontario law says 3 years for common law when there are no children involved. Pretty straight forward indeed. They are living together less than 2 years so common law does NOT apply.
            exactly - if no children involved
            but before you gave more general answer

   Ontario you have to be living together for 3 years to be considered common law.
            and again for Income tax as I remembered it should be at least one year - not 3 that why I answered in such way...

            I am not trying to be smart$#@% here but from my point of view statement " in Ontario you have to be living together for 3 years to be considered common law." is not correct or at least is not full because there is other things to consider...

            do you agree?


            • #7
              No, I don't agree. My answer was not general at all, my response was specific to the information she gave which stated:

              We have no kids (thank goodness).
              If I were responding to a post where it wasn't specified I would have given a different answer.

              The poster was not inquiring about income tax, she was inquiring about common law rights which don't apply here because they don't meet the requirements.


              • #8
                ok you won, blinkandimgone

                I am just saying that as I read your answer that looks like it's general rule (3 years). It still may be tricky.

                what would you say if they file income tax as common law and now in court will argue that they are not in common law because 3 years rule?



                • #9
                  My lawyer said the 3 year thing means nothing.

                  But regardless, common-law or not - he has no rights because the house is in your name. You can change the locks if you want - the cop is out to lunch (shocking).

                  Selling the house and dividing it equally is perfectly reasonable. If I were you I'd get on it ASAP.

                  Good luck.


                  • #10
                    as far as I understand [and im quite sure about this], you're not yet considered common-law partners because you separate ways before 3 years of living together and the property is under your name. So, legally, he has no right on any of your property, but it's up to you, I think you're a good person. all the decision is yours.

                    all the best


                    • #11
                      Thank-you for the feedback.
                      I did some research before and I thought it was three years. So I wanted to make sure.
                      But how do you tell a cop that he/she is wrong?? That's the hard part.
                      I fixed my door and he broke in again while I was at work. Didn't take anything but I feel like I can't do anything since the Police do not really know what is right.
                      It's so uncomfortable. I have to sleep with one eye open.
                      Anyways, thank-you so much for the posts.
                      I think I will go to one of the centres to get more info as proof.


                      • #12
                        yah, that's right. it should be 3 years or more to be called it common-law. Believe me, I was in that separation before, and it's really very hard, the only difference is that he is the one who call a police, but I explain everything to them, then I get a lawyer and that's it. Just tell the police officer that your relationship with him is done. that, that property is yours because it's under your name and ask for a restriction against him, e.g. he should be 1000 meter off of you and your property. if he get nearer, call the police and they will take care of the next move.


                        • #13
                          I mean situation, sorry


                          • #14
                            This BlinkandImgone character has a chip on their shoulder it sounds like!


                            • #15
                              Here's a situation for ya'll. A woman sells her house and puts all the $ down on a new one with her common law (yes over 3 years together) partner. He puts down nothing but since he fixed up the old house and enabled her to get more $ upon the sale, feels that is his contribution. SHE agrees..I guess.
                              2 years after living in the house, shopping on credit cards (which are in her name due to his lack of credit)to furnish the place, they decide they will split. The guy gets a rental and proceeds to help himself to whatever he wants in the house while she is at work. This happens for 2 days. Finally she catches on and changes the locks. HE now claims that since SHE changed the locks, HE is not required to pay on the mortgage (his name is on the deed - silly woman) but still is entitled to 50% upon the sale of the house.
                              HE claims this was told to him by a lawyer....I don't believe it? Can anyone advise. BTW - No I am NOT the she in this situation - far too smart for that!


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