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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 06-15-2011, 11:57 PM
mrguy mrguy is offline
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Default Sppousal support

A friend of min is going through a separation from a 5yr long relationship with his common law wife, They have no children together, but they each have children from other marriages.

His income potential is lower than hers but she recently quit her job and is now on unemployment. He is also supporting his ex-wife and his children.
She gets child support from her previous ex who she is still LEGALLY MARRIED to, but I dont believe she gets spousal support from him

She is threatening him with a contract stating that she will continue to receive certain benefits and keep some of his more expensive belongings (which he bought with his own money) - or- she will take him to court for spousal support. Shes changed the locks on their rented home so he cant get at his belongings.

Can she do this?
Will she actually be able to get support from him or will she have to pursue her ex husband first? What about the fact that her education / income potential is better than his?
Is she within her rights to withhold his possessions?

Thx
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Old 06-16-2011, 02:19 AM
Mess Mess is offline
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She can't technically lock him out of the home without an order for exclusive possession, but that said, he's an idiot to leave behind any expensive belongings. Me, I'd be a hothead and kick the door in when she wasn't home, take my stuff and leave the door wide open behind me. Exactly what would she do? However I would never advise anyone to be a hothead.

He could get a locksmith to open the door. How long has he been out of the home? It is still his legal residence if he hasn't signed a lease on another home. Signing a lease would be indication in the eyes of the court that he had changed residences. If he is couch surfing then it is still his home.

He should make every attempt to get her to be stupid enough to make the threat to keep his stuff if he doesn't pay support in writing. Meanwhile, just go when she isn't home and get it. He could threaten her with theft, he could swear a criminal charge of theft to a justice of the peace, but the length of time and rigmarole he'd go through would hardly be worth it.

She has illegally changed the locks, probably against the lease agreement as well if she didn't get the landlord's permission, and is withholding his property.

Regarding spousal support, she doesn't have any legal entitlement from your description. She is voluntarily underemployed and previously earned more than him, she is an idiot.
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:09 AM
winterwolf7 winterwolf7 is offline
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He should have called the police right away when she changed the locks. That's what I did, to find out my rights and the best way to proceed.

In the end I showed up at my house flanked by a bunch of cops who explained the law to my ex, and she called her dad to pick up her up and left the matrimonial home right then and there when she couldn't get her way.

When she wouldn't turn over the keys to the new locks, the cops outright told her I would be legally entitled break down the door and charge her for repairing any damage caused. She eventually relented and turned them over.
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Old 06-16-2011, 05:04 PM
justwon'tquit justwon'tquit is offline
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I agree with winterwolf7...as long as your name is on the lease or you have a bill or cheques verifying to paid rent at this residence she cannot legally change the locks or deny you access. I would not go there yourself, but rather with a friend to have a witness. I highly recommend going to the police with all the above paperwork, have a van, car etc ready and go in and take your stuff...You may only get in once so make it good..

Also, she can attempt the spousal support however, if she is employable and does a job that is common then the judge will want to know why she is not finding work based on her qualifications and it will look as though she is intentionally not working to obtain Spousal. Good Luck!!

Be careful what you put in writing and NEVER go near her alone. It sounds like you hurt her and she will make you pay any way she can. Including attempting to have you charged with trumped up charges. Woman are spiteful, and I'm a woman so I should know because my husbands ex pulled all kinds of this crazy behaviour to maintain control, Sick Really!!
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