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  Ottawa Divorce .com Forums > Main Category > Divorce & Family Law > Common Law Issues

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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  #1  
Old 11-25-2012, 12:11 AM
shoretyus shoretyus is offline
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Default Just been served. Need a direction.

Ya and it's real messy.

Basics.
Married 1990
Separated in 1999. At that time there was a court action over the kid with me winning shared custody no support. No property settlement but of course my house was tied up as the matrimonial home.

During the time of shared custody she eventually bought a house closer to me. She also ended up with several mental health issues and according to her doctor diagnosed as a paranoid Schizophrenic. During that time the CAS removed the children from her care at least three times into my care.

The last time they where removed was just before a major incident where she went to her sisters and brother inlaws house. She apparently took all her meds at once than went for a walk in the woods ( there is a reason for mentioning this event). There was a massive search with helicopters, dogs, and 25 police officers to comb the Central Ont woods. She was found bitten ( blackfly season ) but alive. After a week in the ward she was released but said that she was kidnapped and taken to a hunt camp by the above brother inlaw. I ignored all the delusions but this one as it impeded interaction of the children and their aunt and uncle.

After this incident she then decided that she would make a property settlement. I signed off on her HOOP pension she signed off the house to me.

She then lost the children again. Not wanting to subject the children more supervised visits and because she lived close to me I suggested that she could hang with the kids while I worked in my workshop at home.

We ended up getting back together. Unasked she paid off some some overdue property tax, work debts on her line of credit.

I did some work on her house then she sold it and resided at my house.

I had planned to build a small addition to allow the children ( now 8 & 10) to have separate bedrooms. But she insisted and planned on a larger addition. At this point I stopped doing any work outside the home and went to work fulltime in the addition as well as doing all the household chores,meals laundry etc etc. She used her line of credit/ pay/ visa to go and purchase the materials of her choice. She went big because I was saving us lots of money by doing all the work myself including making trim and windows. This was over the course of a couple of years

She paid for a van that was used as a family vehicle for trips to Florida as well as transportation for me. I suggested a cheap $2k van but she insisted on one worth $7500. This van damaged by our son ( about $2k worth) and then motor went. She never replaced it. I walked for about three months till I was able to purchase another one this spring.
.
She is a nurse making $75k a year. My business never picked up after that and the economic bombshell dropped. I looked for work as best I could but being 55 there was slow response. I was also hesitant to go away to work because of her mental health issues and in the back of my mind think that somehow she would try and say I left.

In the last couple of years we have come to differences over the discipline of the kids. She totally pandered them, allowed to run amok, supplied the with alcohol underage etc.

This summer she refused to go on a sailing trip with the above bro inlaw because she had issues with him. When pressed she again said that she was kidnapped.

Today I got served. She is trying to make responsible for the $60k line of credit. The papers are for the unjust enrichment clause and basically trying to force sale of the house.

She bought at house and obtained a $92,000 mortgage before she left.

I don't want to leave. I brought this house into the marriage in 86', fought and won it once.

How do I approach a lawyer and with what kind of game plan?
I had 0 income in 2010 and 2011, and did all the domestic duties as well as build the renovations. Claim for support?

Of course have no credit rating. I am presently working but not much cash. I started a job in June and did giver her money towards bills but I have no receipts.

Any ideas are welcome. The van that she says I owe her is in a wrecking yard not far from her house and is still in her name. Can I just take it to her? etc etc
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  #2  
Old 11-25-2012, 01:30 PM
paris paris is offline
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I don't think it matters what your income was in 2010 or 2011. You have income currently. Are the kids with you?

I think the most disturbing part of your post is that your wife has all these mental issues and she's a nurse. Currently working as a nurse?
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  #3  
Old 11-25-2012, 01:36 PM
shoretyus shoretyus is offline
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Default Just been served and need some direction

Background. Married 1990. Separated in 1999. Filed and received shared custody with no support. No property settlement at that time.

After the separation she refused to make a property settlement.
During the next five years she had several mental health breakdowns. She was diagnosed as a schizophrenic. She lost the children into my care at least 3 or four times.
After one breakdown in 2005 she decided to do a property settlement and divorce in which I signed off on her Omers pension and she signed off on the house.

The last time she lost them I said that she could come and visit the children here to minimize the crap for the kids. They had been here for a month already.

After awhile she wanted to get back together. I said I was taking it bit by bit.

She owned a house in which she claims that her mother gave her money.
At that point I thought that the relationship might work and that her health problems were what caused her to seek a divorce. She has a delusion thatthere a people spying on her and that people were calling her with no ring etc etc.

I helped her renovate her house a ready it for sale. ( probably need to bill her for that ?) and she sold it.

So now we have two children of opposite gender nearing 10 and they needed separate bedrooms. I just wanted to add a small room for an extra bedroom. She insisted on an addition that is the same size as the house. She said had money from the sale of her house. I took it in good faith that she did intend to stick around. I assume that we would be here for ever and that the kids would inherit it etc etc,

I stopped work and took on the project ( removing roof ..i.e major job)
She then insisted that I carry on and renovate that original house.

That took 1 1/2 years. I did some work but my business dried up and this is 2008.
We had another major health issue where she went missing in the woods in blackfly season . 25 police,dogs, helicopters yada. After a week in the pshic ward she came out of there saying that her sisters husband and my long time friend and our sailing partner had kidnapped her and took her to a huntcamp. This is still a recurring dilusion.

She remainded fairly stable and continued to work at her nursing job earning $75 k. I stayed home and did all the domestics childrens dental and orthodontist visits and I looked for work.

Halloween I had a music gig to attend to. She then did the midnight move taking her stuff and the children ( 17 in school & 19 doing nothing. )

I was served on Sat. under unjust enrichment to sell the house

She is saying that I am responsible for her

68 k line of credit that I had no control over

$7500 for a family van in her name that our son did 3k of damage to and the motor died. After three months I purchased my own van

There were some debits of mine on her return that she paid off without me asking her

Property tax 4k
gst 5k
visa 3k.

questions.
The van is in a wrecking yard close to her house. Do I tow it to her house of ask the yard owner to send a storage bill.

how do I get compensated for all the labour in the house?And her old house.

She purchased a house before she left and has a 91k mortgage
Do I have a claim for support ? I finally got a job this June.

IN a nutchell the house was worth 60k when came back. She says that it is worth $120 and that she wants 52k

An agent told me that it would take a very long time to sell it at that price.

I let her in in good faith and now I feel raped.

This summer she refused to sailing with the above brother inlaw. We did and an arguement and I told asked her to prove this. I told her that she needs to deal mental health issue with this because it is hindering the family unit. She is trying to say that I told her and the kids to move out.. which is not the case.

Of course I don't have any money ... 2010 and 1 are 0 income years 2008 I made 6k
But I am looking for a way to fight this and am on the hunt for a lawyer in the morning.







.
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  #4  
Old 11-25-2012, 01:51 PM
shoretyus shoretyus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paris View Post
I don't think it matters what your income was in 2010 or 2011. You have income currently. Are the kids with you?

I think the most disturbing part of your post is that your wife has all these mental issues and she's a nurse. Currently working as a nurse?
Yes she is a case manager for the CCAC

I have a job . but it is in the construction industry ...
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  #5  
Old 11-25-2012, 03:09 PM
Mess Mess is offline
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This situation is complicated and you really need to talk to an experienced lawyer. This is what I see so far:
  1. You separated in 1999 after 9 years of marriage.
  2. You did not settle equalization at that time.
  3. You achieved a custody settlement sometime later
  4. Again, sometime later, you settled the property equalization; you signed off on her pension, she signed off on the mat home.
  5. It is not clear if you ever divorced. I think this will be an important issue.
  6. You reconciled some time after the equalization. It is not clear if you were still married, or now living common law.
  7. She invested a significant amount into the home, apparently all or most of a $60k line of credit.
  8. During this period you gave up employment with her agreement to work on the house. You can certainly claim this value as a contribution to the house, however it does not offset her contribution. She invested $60k into the house; that does not become $0 just because you did the labour.
To me, if the two of you were divorced and equalization was settled, then what happened was that you began a new common law relationship. Since she is seeking unjust enrichment rather than a new split of the mat home, I would take it that her lawyer sees it the same way.

Going by this, the house is yours, she seems to be admitting that so it is not in question. The question is her investment in the house during the time she reconciled with you. It not unreasonable for her to claim that she put $60k in and so want's $60k back out.

You could argue that she also should have paid rent of some kind or share of expenses. I would expect that she did, since she was working and you were not doing paid work. So what she is seeking is just the money she invested in the house.

Presumably the house is now worth that much more. These things don't work out to the penny, but she would have paid for the materials and you did the labour, so there should be a significant increase in value.

I don't see that you have a strong case if you don't want to repay her.

As far as the van goes, it is a write off, it has no value, and there shouldn't even be mention of it.

Do you have a spousal support claim? You are not being clear on the dates. When did she move back in? How long was the second, common law, relationship? You were off work for two years voluntarily. Can you show that you would be earning more money now if you had continued to work full time? Or would the lack of work be the same?

Spousal support would need to first show entitlement. You have some points but it is not a clear argument. You chose to stop working, and put your time into improving the value of a house, and you are fighting against sharing the value of that house.

If you giving up work was to provide for your family in other ways by expanding the house, then the house was family property and you should certainly share its value. If the house is yours alone and you don't want to share its value then you were working for your own benefit for those two years and she shouldn't owe you any support. I don't see how you argue both.

That said, you need an experienced lawyer's opinion.
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  #6  
Old 11-25-2012, 03:49 PM
shoretyus shoretyus is offline
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Separated 99
divorce and equalization 2005 house mine and pension hers


She invested a significant amount into the home, apparently all or most of a $60k line of credit.

It was her line of credit. She took trips, loaned family money that didn't get paid back ... how do I get her to account for that value ?

She moved back in three months after the divorce . I took off 1 1/2 yrs being self employed to work on the house, after things were slow locally. Being 55 on an application doesn't help but it was from lack of work. I didn't really want to go away because of her mental health history.
I found work in June.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:56 PM
Mess Mess is offline
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I'm not saying everything was fine for you. I'm saying that if you want to make a claim for spousal support, you have to be able to show that your current lack of work was directly caused by the circumstances of the marriage. If there is a general lack of work, then this isn't her fault.

Regarding the line of credit, if she is seeking a specific amount, then she has to detail where the money went. This is what you ask of her. Your point is valid, she spent money on many things. Any payment due would be based on what she invested in the home, not on the total amount she spent during those years.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:01 PM
Mess Mess is offline
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I merged your two threads so that you will all of your responses in one place.
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  #9  
Old 11-25-2012, 04:08 PM
shoretyus shoretyus is offline
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Thanks mess
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  #10  
Old 11-28-2012, 07:20 AM
shoretyus shoretyus is offline
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Update. I phoned one lawyer recommend by a local lawyer.
Part of his response other than this is going to cost 5 to 15

This appears to be an historical/accounting issue. That is to say, it will require a comprehensive review of things that happened (or didn’t happen) some time ago. if she provided you with money and she didn’t benefit from it then she has an argument to get some back. But, it is a complicated form of argument (constructive trust, quantum meruit) and as a result will not be inexpensive to solve

I had phoned legal aid. They referred me to Justice.net. The gave me a number for a lawyer that will work for reduced rates.

I had a conversation with her yesterday. She told me that I was entitled to $420 spousal support and would be required to pay $90 child support. She told me that her rate would be $120 pr and requires a $2500 retainer.

my income is less than $15k while the ex has an income of $75k

To me they are completely different opinions. The second opinion was given over the phone, She wants to met and start right away.

Is it reasonable to pay for an hour to meet with the second lawyer to review her opinion and idea of costs before I pay a retainer ?
What questions do I ask her ?
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