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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 03-14-2009, 06:22 PM
DB26 DB26 is offline
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Default Short term common law

After 4.5 months of living togehter, I ended the relationship with my girlfriend. She was physically abusive and had anger issues. No children, altought she claims to have been pregnant and miscarried without any medical documentation.

I purchased a house and both our names appear on the mortgage and title of the house (Don't ask me why I did that !?!?!?). I put 43 000$ as a down payment (purchased for 215 000$, mortgaged at 172 000$ and valued at 235 000, very shortly prior to the separation).

She is claiming 50% of the equity (31 500$) without ever providing any income, as she was unemployed. I was assuming all costs with regards to the living expense (about 3000$ a month) and assumed all cost with regards to the purchase of the house and legal fees that come with that. I was also the only one bringing income. She was unemployed and providing no income.

Because she was unemployed, her rent at her previous apt was left unpaid for 3 months, which I paid (1400$).

I also purchased a vehicule and both names are on the ownership (Again why did I do that !?!?!). I paid 5525$ of the 22 000$ price of the vehicule.
Again she did not provided any payment towards the vehicule.

She is requesting full ownership transfered to her name.

She is also requesting that I pay off the joint credit card valued at 1000$.

I am willing to give full ownership of the car and pay joint credit car in exchange for her to sign the title of the house to my sole ownership.

Does she have legal right to 50% of the equity of the home ?

Considering the lenght of the relationship (4.5 months) and the lack of income she provided, and the fact that I gave her a certain level of comfort for 4.5 months...

...what are my obligations ?

...what should I be doing ?

...what are best guesses as what would happened in a court situation ? What would happen ?

Thank you for any advice or suggestion that can be given

Thank You
Old 03-14-2009, 08:16 PM
paris paris is offline
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Until you have lived together for a full year, you are not considered commonlaw.

You don't have to pay off the credit card. You don't have to give her the car. She is not entitled to any portion of the house.

You will probably need a lawyer to remove her name from property and vehicle and credit cards. You are responsible for the CC if you are the primary cardholder.

Despite me wanting to tell you to kick her ass to the curb, I'll be generous and suggest that help her with rent money elsewhere.

If you are the primary cardholder, you should cut up her copy.

Consider this a lesson learned.
Old 03-14-2009, 09:28 PM
DB26 DB26 is offline
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Thank You for your reply.

I'm concerned that because she is on the title of the house and the mortgage that she legally owns 50% of the property, even if I paid the entire downpayment and mortgage payments during the time we lived together.

I'm concerend that if it comes to that, a judge would grant her 50% of the ownership, and force me to sell the property and divide the equity. Or pay her the equivalent of her 50% of the equity....

I've been told that the downpayment becomes a gift and she owns 50% of it...but can't confirm it from the reaserch I've done.

I also assume I need her "permission" to transfer ownership of the house ?

Trust me this is a major lesson learned.....
Old 03-14-2009, 10:26 PM
Suchislife Suchislife is offline
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Regardless of the fact that your relationship was short her name IS on the house deed. You need more than her permission to remove her. You need to have her agree to sign a Transfer/Deed of Land and an Affidavit of Residence and of Value of the Consideraton. In effect this would still require you to buy her out of her portion of the home with some other form of equity.

As far as the vehicle you can transfer the ownership over to her name and she would be responsible for the remaining payments.

If you are the primary card holder cancel her secondary card if you haven't already done so. You are responsible for this debt if it's in your name. You could argue that most of the charges were on her card if you have the print-out with the breakdown of who's card was used but...good luck.

In a court situation it is guessing. Best case scenario for you would be to try and come up with an agreement she is happy with, cut your losses and save the court costs.
Old 03-14-2009, 10:57 PM
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billm billm is offline
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Morally, she is entitled to NOTHING. You paid for all her living expenses for the time you were together, she got a free ride. Everything is yours morally, so be sure of that, regardless of what was said between you becuase it was under the assumption that you would actually have a long term relatinoship and you were very very generous in your commitment to that idea, BUT it did not work out the way you thought, so the deal is off. Her name on title etc has nothing to do with what is rightfully yours, promises of undying love not withstanding!!

Legally should equal morally, but I am not sure on this point. You definitley are not common law, but you have have possibly screwed yourself with your commitment by putting her on title. However, the down payment is certainly yours legally, so that comes out of the equity first, and paid to you, before any of the rest can be thought to be split. Though being on title - does that mean a person owns half, or does it simply mean that a person owns a part (in her case almost 0). If it is the case that being on the title does not mean owning half necessarily, then you are fine. You should make sure you find the right lawyer, and by that I mean someone that is reasonable and actually knows the answers to these questions.

At least you have the peace of mind knowing that anyone who asks for anything after living off of you for 4 months is definitly not someone you should be with, she is worth nothing and deserves nothing. Don't give her anything, except in a clear headed idea to pay her off to make her and her unjustified entitlement ideas go away to minimize your aggrevation.

Last edited by billm; 03-14-2009 at 11:02 PM.
Old 03-29-2009, 11:41 AM
bcbushboy bcbushboy is offline
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If clr was < 1yr, isn't this a Land Title Act issue rather than Family Law?

I am struggling to understand joint title issues wrt clr too.

I feel for your situation DB- I decided on joint title to make sure my ex was not out on the street if I died. Joint title gives survivorship rights - it was not done to reflect 50% ownership/contribution.

I'm told with joint title, there is a "presumption of advancement" - that I gifted this to her. You can spend $$ proving otherwise but the formula seems to be split appreciated value.

You will get credit for the downpayment. If it's a joint mortgage and she hasn't been contributing, you'll get credit for that too.

So what's the problem? You have $235k - $43k - 172k = $20k appreciated value. She's entitled to $10k for her share of the house. (assuming the house is worth $235k today).

Offer her $10k + car + cc in exchange for transferring title. If that's not enough, tell her to start litigation and see if she can do any better.

In the meantime, she's responsible for half the mortgage. Remind her everyday.

Stay strong - meet with a lawyer - & don't worry. You do have rights. Time is on your side too if you are working & she's not.

Be grateful this happened early in the relationship & there are no kids involved.

My advice for all clr's: Keep land/property in your name only & will it to whomever. Far easier to change a will!!
Old 04-10-2009, 12:43 PM
DB26 DB26 is offline
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Default Thanks for the advice

Everyone, Thank You very much for the advice.

I'm told that she owns 50% of the equity (including the 43K downpayment).

Two of you say I would get credit for my downpayment, but that is not what I'm told by my lawyer. My lawyer is saying that she is entitled to the full amount of the equity (64K divided by 2 = 32 , assuming the house is still worth 235K).

I allready offerd 6K plus the car (I paid 6K of it allready) plus 1K of CC debt.

But she declined and wants 25K and the car and the CC debt paid because her lawyer claims that she is entitled to 50% of the equity.

Does anybody have a link to a website where I can obtain further information on this ?

Thanks again
Old 05-09-2009, 11:16 PM
TraceyMac TraceyMac is offline
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Default Short Term Common Law

PLease I need some advice -

Last July I moved from Vancouver to Toronto, quit my job, sold car, gave away almost a whole apt because the man I was involved with told me we were going to get married, buy a house, kids etc. Not to mention he promised to put my name on the title of the house.

Two weeks ago, he pulled the plug and none of the above never happened.

For the last year he called me his wife and now declared I was not his dependant and he owes me nothing. He is not even helping me move back to Vancouver. Today he told me I had to get out of the house, he is paying for me to stay somewhere for a month.

Also too, I was able to have a small income of about 1600 net a month of which 1500 went to him since November for expenses, my car etc.

Now I have nothing except a job I recently got (thankfully) no money and I have to give up the car as it was in his name

Do I have any rights at all??
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