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-   -   unjust enrichment claim (https://www.ottawadivorce.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17953)

Mamma 08-18-2014 02:59 PM

unjust enrichment claim
 
HI everyone,
Does anyone have any experience with unjust enrichment and constructive trust claims?
My Ex and I are going to court over custody / access so in his answer to my submission he included a claim for unjust enrichment and constructive trust. He is asking for 50% of all my savings at the date of separation.
We’ve been in common law relationship for 4 years . Lived together for 3.5 years in my condo that I purchased before meeting him. I sold my condo 6 months ago - we broke up and I bought my new place after the separation using money I received from the sale of my property. When we lived together he contributed 450$/month (gave me money) towards the living expenses .I paid all the bills for my property which came up to 1500 $/month on average. Prior to moving in with me he was renting a 1 bedroom unit for 800$/ month.
When we were together we were planning to use the money from the sale of my condo as a down payment for the house but I told him I wanted a prenuptial agreement before buying anything with him. The value of the condo didn’t go up a lot – 10k over 4 years – I sold it in a bad market.
I am trying to figure out if his claim even has a chance or he is just using it as a bargaining chip in our custody battle.

Thank you

Once.is.enough 08-18-2014 03:16 PM

He may have a chance. Even though th value went up 10 percent I'm sure your equity increased more than the market value increase. This is where he would base his claim.

DowntroddenDad 08-18-2014 03:32 PM

Mamma

I'm not a lawyer, so you shouldn't construe this as legal advise but....

From what I have read here in the past, I don't think that a common law partner can make such a claim. To make such a claim he would have to show that over the course of the time together by his actions he increased the value of the asset. Did he help maintain or improve the property through renovations? Did he contribute to any extraordinary items.

Usually in common law situations you leave with your own possessions. If essentially he was a renter contributing to the payment of utilities etc., this shouldn't be an issue. And of course the most he would be entitled to if his claim was successful would be 50% of the INCREASE in value (or $5000) since you weren't married and therefore there is no matrimonial home.

So I'd say this is a bargaining chip or an attempt to throw you off balance and have you stop focussing on the other issues on the table.

Once.is.enough 08-18-2014 04:14 PM

He was not a renter If so produce a lease. In your original post you stated he contributed. So now he is asking for his share of the increase. Your best course of action is consult with a lawyer ASAP. Depending on incomes he may even make a claim for spousal support. It doesn't mean he will get anything but he is allowed to ask.

Mamma 08-18-2014 04:16 PM

thanks for the reply.
His contributions for the renovation are limited to painting two rooms - nothing out of the ordinary . I increased my equity in the place by making extra payments like I used to do even before meeting him. I have a meeting with my lawyer next week but I really needed some feedback. it is just so frustrating that he is trying to make a claim over pennies (5000$ won't cover lawyers fees if me go to trial). we've been together for 4years - not a lifetime and he is still trying to get money from me :(

Once.is.enough 08-18-2014 04:20 PM

I have a sister who paid 80k to an ex for a six year relationship. This was an unjust enrichment claim and a one time spousal support buyout.

Mamma 08-18-2014 04:29 PM

WoW 80k for such a short relationship. I guess I am luck he is making enough money not to request spousal support :(

DowntroddenDad 08-18-2014 04:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Once.is.enough (Post 178608)
He was not a renter If so produce a lease. In your original post you stated he contributed. So now he is asking for his share of the increase. Your best course of action is consult with a lawyer ASAP. Depending on incomes he may even make a claim for spousal support. It doesn't mean he will get anything but he is allowed to ask.

He wasn't a husband either. They weren't married.

$400 a month is rent sized payments, when the total expense is at the $1600 a month mark.

On what grounds would he claim spousal support? Only if he sacrificed his job to "raise kids" or "support her career".

Once.is.enough 08-18-2014 04:44 PM

Not that simple. They settled rather then court. They were common law not married. Her income did increase during relationship his did not. 28 k diffrence in earnings. Rather than fight they negotiated a figure for the unjust enrichment claim and a lump sum tax discounted spousal claim. It was lower than what it would have cost her in legal fees to fight. I think the op may find herself in a similar situation.
There is no point in spending 20k to avoid a 15k claim.

Once.is.enough 08-18-2014 04:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DowntroddenDad (Post 178613)
He wasn't a husband either. They weren't married.

$400 a month is rent sized payments, when the total expense is at the $1600 a month mark.

On what grounds would he claim spousal support? Only if he sacrificed his job to "raise kids" or "support her career".

You don't need grounds to make any claims. This is family law. You can ask for whatever you want while you watch the other side squirm and spend thousands.


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