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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 11-11-2010, 05:18 PM
T.S.B T.S.B is offline
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Default Common-law Housing...

I need some help understanding the 24-month separation period for common law partners. I am in Saskatchewan but I don't know where to go for help. I don't qualify for legal-aid because I make more then $22,000. p/y but I have four kids and make only $30,000 and that doesn't leave a lot for a lawyer. So here is my question: in the Family Property Act there is a time limit on applications for common-law partners.

"Time limitation on application
3.1 Subject to section 8 and subsections 26(4), 29(3) and 30(2), an application by a person who is a spouse within the meaning of clause (c) of the definition of “spouse” in subsection 2(1) must be brought within 24 months after the cohabitation ceases."

What happens after that time limit? What are my rights?

Background info:

I am a mother of 4 (ages 8, 7, 4,& 2 all with the same father) living in the home that I bought with my common law partner and their father seven years ago. He cheated on me for two years and told me when I was pregnant with our youngest who is now 2. He moved out February 2008 before my son was born in the fall of 2008. He moved in with the 19 year old that he cheated on me with. They were married in the summer of 2009 and now have a daughter together. I stayed in our family home and have had custody of our four children. He stopped paying for everything when he moved out. He only erratically will provided any financial support for our children and sees them only when it is convenient to him.

Now that he is married and has another child he wants to start over with them and now has got another lawyer and is coming after the house that is in both our names. The houses prices have tripled in the past seven years and he wants the equity from our house to start his new life. I do not have the money to pay him out or the money and credit to purchase a new home for me and our children at the higher prices. Our mortgage is cheaper then renting a place with the children would be.

When we first separated I got a lawyer who took ten thousand dollars from me and didn't work out anything. Not a custody or property agreement. He didn't file any paper work on my behalf, just charged me for visits and letter sent to their father lawyer and when I could no longer pay he dropped me and refused to give me my file until I paid him another $2000. I can't afford to go through that again.

Because it has been longer then 24 months is he still entitled to half the house? Or do I have some rights because I have been paying the bills?
He is also trying to get a 40/60 custody split so that I can't go after him for child support. He is very emotionally abusive and it is difficult to try and negotiate with him. I have suggested mediation to help because it is cheaper, but he responded that he was going to bankrupt me and take everything that I have.

I don't understand, he is the one who left and gets a new start in life and I have been left to pick up the pieces financially and emotionally and now he wants to take the only thing me and the children have left which is the house. The children have been very emotional scared by the events that have taken placed and I have them in counseling (which he refuses to attend). The oldest has sever ADD and my second has ODD. The only stability that they have is the family home and I can't believe he wants to take that away from them as well.
I need help. Please if any of you know where I can find some help I would appreciate it. Or if you know what happens after the 24-month period runs out.
Thank you
Old 11-11-2010, 06:47 PM
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NBDad NBDad is offline
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You may want to pay for a couple of 1/2 hour consults with a lawyer to help you get some real answers.

From what I understand, he's entitled to 50% of the net family assets (joint assets - joint debts) as of the date of separation (Feb 2008) OR 90 days after he left (which CRA would use as the separation date).

Either the increased value of the home would not be his to access, as he stopped paying the bills OR then his share of those funds would be decreased proportional to the equity YOU have built up in the home by continuing to pay the mortgage/etc.

He is entitled to SOMETHING out of it, exactly what and how much is up for debate. If he pushes you into court, he IS going to get rocked on Child Support.

HE should be paying child support, and should have been all along. You need to get yourself an interim order for support/custody and access. You have 2 years of status quo on your side, and it will be very difficult for him to come back and try to claim 40%.

He is INCORRECT about not paying support with a 60-40 split. In that instance you would use the OFFSET amount of support. His new wife and daughter DO NOT factor into the equation. You use what he makes each year (line 150 amounts on notice of assessment) what you make each year (same) and that's IT.

Unless he tries a claim of undue hardship, which he'd likely fail anyway. (2 adult household with 1 child vs. single parent household with 4 children...yeah...tell him good luck if he tries that one)

Also, communicate ONLY via email with him. Do you have that refusal to attend mediation in writing at all? That's pure gold, and you can use it to show the courts that he's being unreasonable and to request costs.
Old 11-11-2010, 07:04 PM
Mess Mess is offline
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It looks to me from reading the Sask FPA he can't bring an application after 24 months since separation. However the clauses with the exceptions are as clear as mud. I am neither a lawyer nor in Sask so I concur with NBDad as usual, you are better off getting a brief consult with a lawyer to be certain about it. I would guess that he is bluffing and trying to bully you, but you have to check with a lawyer and be certain about this.
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