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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 02-23-2009, 10:53 PM
Ontarian Ontarian is offline
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Default What is my obligation?

I sponsored HER and her daughter to Canada from Europe 4.5 years ago. We lived in Common law relations in my house, which I own solely for more that 7 years. The house is paid of and I don't have any debt or lien. For last 2 years I did modest home improvements increasing the value of the house of apr. $ 2000. She was not contributing any money for that. She was working part time for the last 3 years with yearly income of $ 9,000. The daughter is attending a high school and is graduating this year. I am on disability pension for the last 5 years with total income apr. $ 12,000 a year. 4 weeks ago BOTH moved out of the house for our disagreement about Her daughters behavior. They are renting property and SHE is working. We are not going to live together in the future. My question is, what is my obligation towards her? Thanks, O.
Old 02-24-2009, 09:42 AM
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I would wonder what if anything would happen to the initial sponsorship?
Secondly the child was about 12 or 13 years old, and did not address you as a step parent, and given the disagreement over the child's recent behaviour you have had little authority with respect to discipline or any other aspect of being a "parent". With that said, the onus would be on the mother to show that you acted as a "loco parentus" (in place of a parent) for the purpose of seeking any type of child support. I feel you are OK in that regard, but should seek legal advice to make sure.

As for spousal support, the relationship was a short CL union without her name on any asset, so again the onus would be on the claiming party to show just cause to any spousal support or splitting of assets, IE the equity in the home for the last 4.5 years.
You could counter claim she offered nothing by way of financial assistance in the upkeep or subsequent renos to the home increasing it's value, nor did she provide any other physical help that elevated your physical/financial costs to increase/maintain the homes value, IE lawn maintenance, painting, minor repairs, etc.

As you did not mention that she has initiated any court action against you, I would simply wait and see where she is going to do before jumping to any conclusions. But seeking legal advice (you may qualify for legal aid given your disability) is still something you should do, to be prepared and to educate yourself.
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