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  Ottawa Divorce .com Forums > Main Category > Divorce & Family Law > Common Law Issues

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 04-06-2011, 12:36 PM
Hopeless in Hope Hopeless in Hope is offline
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I am just getting ready to go to Family Court for the 1st time. Don't know what happens in there or what to expect. Does the Judge ask us questions, are we allowed to talk or do the lawyers do all the talking and answering. Does the Judge read all the letters that have gone back and forth for the months leading up to court? Is court usually a 1 shot deal or will we have to go back several times? Anyone with some experience in Family Court...your comments wwould be appreciated.
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Old 04-06-2011, 01:29 PM
DivorceExhaust DivorceExhaust is offline
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Unfortunately with family court it's a depends question. Here is what I can share and will respond further once you provide more detail.

Like most folks on this site I doubt that anything will be solved on your first visit, most people are deep into their lawyers without any resolution. You usually see a judge for a couple of minutes packed court room and they pretty much tell you to try and resolve. Don't expect a lot of time with a judge 5 minutes tops.

If you are really curious you can go to the court and see for yourself. You are free to attend the courts at anytime.

If it's child support they will put you through the FRO right away based on your salary.

You can speak if you want to - I did but your lawyer will recommend that he do the talking.

Can you help us understand why your going to court? Also some courts are more busy then others.....
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:16 PM
Hopeless in Hope Hopeless in Hope is offline
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My common law spouse, of 14 years, moved out on Dec 31st to be with another woman. 10 days later I received a letter from his lawyer with a list of his demands. I was still reeling from him leaving and finding out about his affair. He is going after my pension, doesn't want to pay SS, he removed my son, the boy he raised for 14 years, from his medical and dental plan and I am wanting to go back to school and would like him to pay for it. 2 years ago, my spouse wanted to change careers so we supported him. I left a $45,000/yr job with full benefits, we left our friend and family and our home, and now he has left us. I only work part time now making nothing close to what I left behind. He continues to live a lifestyle that we used to live together, he makes $85,000/yr, while I have had to borrow money from my father every month to pay bills and buy food.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:00 PM
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Mominneed Mominneed is offline
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Boy that sounds awful - I really do feel for you. The reality is slightly depressing - court is expensive, emotionally draining and extremely lengthy. However, sounds like you would have a good argument for spousal support and probably even child support (including benefits for your son if it's free through your x's workplace). If he's reasonable (sounds like he may not be) you could get through fairly quickly and get what a fair result (legally speaking) but if he's a tyrant, he could drag you through court and make life extremely difficult for you.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:01 PM
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Sorry, I don't know much about common law - not sure if he'd be entitled to any of your pension...
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:23 PM
DivorceExhaust DivorceExhaust is offline
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I suggest 2 things:

find out if your entitled to legal aid to determine what kind of costs your looking at.

find out if your ex spouse is willing to mediate as opposed to lawyers/court system.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:38 PM
Hopeless in Hope Hopeless in Hope is offline
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I actually do have a legal aid lawyer...he assaulted me the night he left and charges were approved by Crown Council. There is going to be a trial for that as well. There is a no contact order against him right now so we can't do mediation. It's just a mess!! He doesn't have to pay child support because my son receives money from Worksfe BC for the death of his biological father who was killed in a work related accident at the end of November, 1 month before his stepdad walked out on us. It has truly been the worst time of my life!! I have done alot of research on my pension and the onus is on him to prove he paid into my pension...which he didn't because it was a payroll deduction but his lawyer keeps trying!
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