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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 02-17-2006, 01:14 PM
CuriousAboutTime CuriousAboutTime is offline
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Default How does 15 month gap affect Common Law


I'm new to the site, but I've got a bit of a situation and I'm looking for a little guidance.

My ex-girlfriend and I dated off and on for 10 years, we actually lived together for just over 3 years. We then broke up and she moved to England to attend school for 15 months. When she returned, she moved back in with me for 12 months. Now that we are broken up, she is threatening to go after spousal support, but I'm not sure if she still has a valid claim (never mind justified, this isn't the space for that).

Lived together in her home for approx. 40 months. I paid $400 a month towards the home, but it was in her name.
Broke up, she moved to England for 15 months.
Moved back in together for 12 months in my condo, my name on lease (not owned) and she didn't contribute any funds.
Broke up for good...

Does the 15 month gap restart the 'count' on common law status and if so, has the 2 years to make a claim expired from when we were common law?

Thank you for any answers you can provide.

Old 02-17-2006, 03:37 PM
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Hi CuriousAboutTime and welcome to the forums!

In Ontario, you have to live together for 3 years in a common law relationship to be entitled to spousal support. The 3 years needs to be continuous. If you had broken up for a few days or weeks, that might not make a difference, but 15 months of separation would certainly end any continuity.

However, I note that at one point you lived together for 40 months. This would create an entitlement to spousal support. It gets a bit more complicated here. If you broke up from that 40 month period before January 1, 2004, any claim for spousal support would be extinguished (see: for more details). If you separated on or after January 1, 2004, then the claim would still exist.
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