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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 02-09-2011, 10:49 AM
jacktoo jacktoo is offline
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Default unjust enrichment

Anyone with any experience in a situation like this-I would welcome any input. Heres the situation,
-common law relationship over 20 yrs.
-reside in Ontario
-no children (thankfully!)
-she decided to end relationship when she could not control her drinking problem
-house is solely in my name and was partly gifted to me by my parents before they died (sold it to me for less than market value and held mortgage) Paid off, no debts. Whilst making payments, we both worked full time. She earned considerably less than I did. All bills (hydro, taxes, telephone etc. were solely in my name. All banking was done thru a single shared account.
-She is demanding 1/2 which will force me into a sell situation.
-Anyone with any experience in a situation - What do you think she would be entitled to and how would a fair assessment be reached thru unjust enrichment if she decides to take this to court. What factors would be taken into consideration?
-I only wish she would go back into treatment again but she is in deep denial of her problem and seems to want to inflict as much pain on me as possible.
-Do lawyers enter into any of these forum discussions?
Thanks, Jack
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacktoo View Post
-no children (thankfully!)
I beg to differ

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacktoo View Post
-she decided to end relationship when she could not control her drinking problem
I wouldn't have been the one to end that relationship - oh wait, I did
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:58 PM
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In my case which ended last year, unjust enrichment was not considered by the judge as she did not have any receipt as far as renovation done on the house. This is hard to prove in court and if she contributed to some renovation then you should be prepared to give her a portion of the equity build up on the house. If it is an heritage it is another story, she cannot even touch that.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:16 PM
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I agree with Max, and asking 1/2 is absurd. If you paid for maintainence and repairs, property tax, insurance and utilities, then she was living rent free. I have seen cases where if one spouse did ALL the housekeeping then they were able to claim some contribution, but this difficult to argue if she was working full time. If you both worked, then common sense would indicate you both had equal time at home off work and made equal contributions to housework. You would argue (if she tries this line) that she cleaned up after herself, you did the same and there was no net benefit to you or cost to her. She owes you for 20 years back rent and has no claim to any of your assets.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:57 PM
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Property Division for Common Law Separation in Ontario

here some information, and my advice is to consult a lawyer, as sometimes judge depending on what is brought forward make decision that do not go as per the guideline or actual law. This sets sometimes precedence that can be brought as exemple in a court of law. There is a guide on the government site that may help you.

http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.o...y/familyla.pdf

But again judges do not see that as a law. You may check CanLII - Canadian Legal Information Institute yoiu can do some research there. Hopefully you resolve that quickly, be patient it takes time.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:15 PM
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My advice is to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. My understanding is that for common-law, you are considered a spouse as far as spousal support and child support is concerned. When my common-law relationship of 15 years ended, our family home was also just in his name (as was the mortgage). I was informed that because we were not legally married, the residence could not be considered a matrimonial home and as such I was not entitled - with a common-law relationship, division of property does not apply as it does in a marriage. By the time my final court order was done (after mediation and the first temporary court order...things were settled in council chambers and we did not get in front of the judge) my lawyer was able to negotiate a nominal property settlement (to encompass the house, investments, RRSP's, his pension).
My case is different in the fact that I had always been a stay at home parent to our 3 children while he earned between 100 - 200K/year...and he announced one night in January he was leaving (which he eventually did).
I would look into offering some spousal support (for a set term to help her get settled) in lue of splitting the house...this way she will need to file it as income and you get a deduction.
I prepared a chronology of events and outlined everything in detail as much as possible prior to contacting a lawyer (mind you we had already gone to a mediator and had a Memorandum of Understanding). I actually purchased a legal separation book with CD from Chapters and completed the forms to the best of my ability prior to retaining my lawyer, so I had done most of the work in order to reduce costs.
Hope this helps....Good Luck...and it does take time, especially if one party wishes to stall the process!
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:54 PM
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Common-law (Provincial) is different from Federal (Marriage),
Common Law - you can sell the house and don’t have to notify or split anything with your partner
Marriage - You cannot sell the matrimonial home by yourself.
Also the judge will consider the fact that the house was partly gifted to you prior to your common law relationship if this was the case
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:18 PM
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As an aside, whether or not that is the case, you cannot arbitrarily evict someone just because you want them out, whether to live in it or sell it.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:45 PM
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Actually you can evict someone, the judge in my case evicted my ex as unjust enrichment does not mean that they can stay in your house. Is she still in your house???
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:38 PM
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The JUDGE evicted her, not you.
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