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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 01-06-2011, 07:04 PM
msc msc is offline
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Default Big Problems .. Help

Hi, new here. Just been advised by my girlfriend she is going to move out.

We have been living together for 10 years.
she had a 5 yo daughter when we met.
We had a child together who is 8 yo now.
The home we live in is mine, always has been and still is (I hope?)
she was married when i met her and left her husband.
she is still legally married to him (no divorce)
He has not payed anything ever.
She works parttime (minimum wadge)

Now she is demanding that I buy her a house, pay the mortgage, utilities
etc. She destroyed her car(That I bought) on purpose and now wants me to buy here a new one as well.

She wants spousal support and child support.
She says that if I don't she will take me to court and take everything
I got (which wont be anything after all that). She advised her lawyer told her this is what she can do. ???????

There is a lot here for me to understand. I am overwhelmed. I appreciate any advice I can get. Where do I start.

From What I read so far
A Married person can not enter into a " Common law marriage"? Whats the impact for me here ??

My property is mine. It won't be divided? - Just that we have a child so could i be thrown out ???

Support for her and her child should be her legal Spouse's responsability ?
(Her child is not from her legal spouse) This is my thought. ???

I will need to pay child support for my child. I don't have any problem with this except that the rates are extremely high and I cannot afford all of this.

Is this a life sentence as she is suggesting ???

Thanks for any help?
Old 01-06-2011, 07:54 PM
Mess Mess is offline
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Mess is a jewel in the roughMess is a jewel in the roughMess is a jewel in the roughMess is a jewel in the rough

I'm not sure what jurisdiction you live in. I am going to assume Ontario.

There is no such thing as a common law marriage. The Family Law Act recognizes parties as being spouses for the purposes of spousal support if they have cohabited for 3 years, or less if they were raising a child. According to your description she may seek spousal support, but whether she is successful or not isn't clear from your story. Does she have post-secondary education or any skills? Has she worked throughout your marriage? Does she work now? Many questions here before anyone could answer you.

From your description, your home is yours and stays yours, you owe her nothing. However if she claims she has contributed to it financially or if she contributed labour (more than just some housekeeping) then she may make a claim to be reimbursed. If she's put something into the house then she can take that, but she has to show it, and you have your chance to counter argue.

Her first child, she should be seeking support from the father. She would look like an idiot trying to seek support from you if she hasn't persued him. You MIGHT be liable for some support there but it isn't clear from your description yes or no. Did you act as the child's parent? Were you supporting both children? Were you attending school functions, doctor's appointments? Who paid for dentist and prescriptions? If you were acting as a parent all along and she was your dependent then you may be liable for support.

For your own child you are certainly liable for support. You should also be seeking joint custody, and why not full custody? You should be pushing for 50/50 access if you can, and possibly for both children if you want to accept them both as your own. Again why not? Think about where you stand on this.

You do not split any of your assets, in a common law situation your assets are your own. You should split belongings that you purchased together.

You do not have to buy her a house, that is beyond absurd. You do not have to buy a car, and should not. You should not be paying utilities or insurance. You should be paying monthly support for the children according to the Tables and let her fend for herself.
Old 01-07-2011, 06:05 AM
msc msc is offline
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Thankyou so much for your reply.
As far as spousal support,
1) She has no post-2ndary edu.
2)She has worked throughout are time together and still works (Minimum wadge)

As far as the house
1)she has made no contribution financially, or any labour beyond cleaning
2)Our deal was she would buy the food for the house hold and I pay for everything else.

1)Her first child's father is dead. He left her nothing.
2)This child was living here so of course I was somewhat supporting her, but any decisions as to her upbringing were made by her mother and My say was only considered if she agreed with me else "its not your child"
3)They were covered by my work benefits for dental etc.

So I'm to understand that I am liable for support for both children which in rough and dirty numbers +/-$1200 to $1400 /month or more, The system expects me to pay this amount to her ??? I cannot possibly pay this amount,
this is insane !

As far as custody, I work out of town alot and I believe I would have a hard time getting custody as I won't be home.

I guess it comes down to which is cheaper, lawyers court costs etc vs buying another house and car.

In either case I am financially ruined, I won't be able to do anything with my child, as I'II be broke and likely lose my house, What a great fair system we have..... I give up.......

I feel I will be punished for being a nice guy and looking after her kid,
Old 01-07-2011, 07:48 AM
Mess Mess is offline
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If you buy her a house, this is not a binding settlement in itself. She can and will come back at you for child support. She cannot waive child support, it is the right of the child, not the right of the mother. You cannot have a binding agreement without independent legal advice and a lawyer signing off on the agreement for each of you.

If you cannot afford child support then you cannot afford to buy her a house. If your child support would be in the $1400 range, then you must be earning over 100k. If you have legitimate business expenses you should be basing your child support after you pay expenses. Otherwise I don't understand how you feel you can afford to buy someone a house but couldn't afford to pay table child support amounts.

You feel that you cannot provide the time for your child sufficient to have full or shared custody, yet you blame the system and "want to give up". We've all been through this here, take a deep breath and get a hold of yourself. The family law system isn't making you work out of town. You've made choices, you have choices in the future. You have and will support the children whether they live with you or not. If you want to spend time with them then find a way.

Don't buy her a house, you would be pissing the money down a hole, and she will seek support anyway. See a lawyer. Don't let the lawyer run your file or make your life decisions, use the lawyer to discover your options.
Old 01-07-2011, 09:11 AM
msc msc is offline
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Thanks again,
I made an error in estimating the tables, it would be about $1150/month
Still a huge amount that will sink me.

I indicated that I could not afford either situation (Tables or buying her a house) But I see what you are advising as far as her going to claim support
after anyway.

As far as my work, it may have been a career choice 20 years ago but
this is what I do and at this time I really don't have any choice.(Short
of quitting and starting all over again) where jobs are scarce where I live.

So as far as her legal Spouse, he has no liability what so ever ? I mean
he is the one who signed up for the life sentence not me ?? Should he not
be somewhat responsible for her and her child. Would the court not consider this at all ??

Again thank you for your time, I am stressed out to the max here and
see a very dim future for myself and my child.
Old 01-07-2011, 11:23 AM
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billm billm is offline
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Originally Posted by msc View Post
I made an error in estimating the tables, it would be about $1150/month
Still a huge amount that will sink me...
Good replies from Mess.

$1150/month for someone else to raise 2 children full time is NOT a lot of money. You must have been spending that already with them living with you, plus you were partially supporting her. Overall I would expect you to have more money at the end of the day - plus it leaves you more free to earn more if you choose.

As Mess said - get a grip. The support tables are reasonable. If you married her, you would have lost half the equity in your house. You are simply lying in the bed you made, you have a responsibility to the children, but get to keep all your stuff - a better deal than most here.

Don't buy her anything, just do CS, and see what is reasonable for SS (if anything). Otherwise, split what you both own. Too bad she does not make more money, but in the end CS should cover the kids, so the rest is her problem not yours.
Old 01-07-2011, 11:43 AM
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So let me just get some things straight here.

When you met, she was married, living with her husband with a child from a prior relationship. She had an affair with you and left her husband. She/and he never obtained a divorce.

And now ....... you want to know if the husband (who is not the child's father) has any responsibility to support her now that she is leaving you?????????????? And she left him 10 years ago ???????????

Are you F&*(^%) out of your mind?

Her husband really had no obligation legally or morally to pay her anything after she left him for you. She obviously traded in him for you, you began supporting her, she had no need for spousal support and the child was not his - and there is absulutely no way she can go back now at him.

But - all that said - Mess is right. No house. No car. If she's leaving you don't have anything to worry about with her kicking you out cause you have a child together. You will not have a 50/50 access relationship so start paying child support for your child immediately. I wouldn't pay for the non-bio child until she comes after you legally, but I would be prepared that you may have to pay something for the non-bio child in the future.

Common law relationship - YES - even though she was still married. But - common law relationships don't follow the same rules re: spousal support as married couples. Look on this forum and on the attorney general website for the differences between common law and married.
Old 01-08-2011, 08:27 AM
msc msc is offline
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Yes you are right, I am out of my mine. Don't know where you guys live but to spend 1100+ on the kids has never happened. I may have to spend 200.

So I just think at the end of the month I got maybe 100 bucks left in the bank after the bills are paid, where am I going to get $800 to $1000 more? This is what is blowing me away (Panic). I don't have a lot I can change as they are fixed costs i.e. mortgage, hydro, insurance etc.etc.

That why I was looking else where, I know it was stupid.
I live in a house I built myself, I have alot of attachment to it.
I guess I will need to sell it.
Old 01-08-2011, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by msc View Post
In either case I am financially ruined, I won't be able to do anything with my child, as I'II be broke and likely lose my house, What a great fair system we have..... I give up.......
Man up dude. Give up? Grow some balls.
Old 01-08-2011, 12:19 PM
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You met her when her daughter was 5 years old.... her biological father is dead......

Unless you can prove that you completley ignored that child for the past decade (which is impossible), then you are going to have a difficult time claiming that you did not act "in loco parentis" (as a parent) to her, and as such, you will probably have to pay child support for her as well.

Just based on the age of the child when your relationship started, and the fact that she has no one else... I seriously doubt your claim that your STBX did not encourage a Father/Daughter relationship between the two of you...

Add that to the fact that your STBX didn't work and can't afford to support herself or your children alone... I'd say that you are in this for the loooooong haul.

If you bail on that little girl now.... because of money.... then you are a

IMHO... of course.
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