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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 09-11-2009, 10:43 AM
high_road high_road is offline
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Default My vehicle is held hostage

Hi Everyone,

New here and do have an issue. I moved in with a man whom I had known for over 15yrs. We dated for a year and then moved in together in to his house. We lived together for 6mos before I moved out. We both have children ranging in ages of 15-24. All of which are in College/University aside from the 15yr old. The reason behind me moving out was he became extremely depressed, was extremely in debt and continued to put himself into more debt by taking trips away with friends, taking his children to NHL games and buying extravagant gifts for his children because they wanted them. I worked on a contract/consulting basis at the time and was continually looking for a position that was permanent and which would bring in more money to help support the living costs. I did maintain the home and always ensured groceries were readily available. I had my own vehicle and ensured I covered all costs involved with said vehicle and covered all expenses for my own children.

His ex barged into our home one night in October and hit me and proceeded to stay in the house and walk around looking to see what we had done, I requested he remove her and he did not. This scene lasted approximately 45mins to an hour, and my 17yr old daughter, her boyfriend, his youngest son and his daughter of 20 were there when this incident happened. After this we tried to stay together but it was obvious the relationship was too far gone. He became more depressed, very negative. In January I returned home from a week business trip to an ultimatum. He wanted my dog out of the house. (He used to have two when his wife lived there) By Sunday morning he texted me and said I had until the afternoon to find her a home. I found her a temporary home and proceeded to find myself and my youngest daughter a new home as well. I found one for Feb 1st and moved all of my belongings that I brought into the home out in one day and cleaned the entire house afterwards before locking the door behind me and leaving the key ensuring I did not take anything that belonged to him. We dated after this as well going out with friends, going to theatre etc. This lasted for about a month and half before I realized this relationship was only going to destroy us both. He was very depressed and trying to sell his home and it seemed he felt everyone was a problem. It was over. I could no longer deal with the ups and downs and had landed a very good position at a high tech company and could no longer deal with the stresses of this relationship.

My problem now is 2 months before we moved in together, I wanted to sell my Hummer (which was fully paid for) and buy something more fuel and cost efficient. I traded it in on another vehicle and received money back as well. At this time since we were moving in together I requested the dealership put both our names on the ownership. At first he had no problems signing off of it when I made the request but then he kept backing out of our appointments. Now he has sent me a text saying that he is putting together a list of what I owe him financially and once that is resolved he will sign off of my vehicle. I feel as though he is completely holding the vehicle hostage at this point and certainly need to understand my rights and the direction I need to take in order to resolve this matter. I am also wondering what liabilities this has on myself and for him should something happen as the ownership is in both our names. The insurance is just in mine, the plates are registered to me but the ownership has both our names. He is an ex police officer and has been a firefighter for over 17yrs and certainly understands all the loop holes and uses them quite often - even when very questionable.

I certainly could use some thoughts/opinions here. Thank you.
Old 09-11-2009, 11:20 AM
mominont mominont is offline
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From what you have written I don't think you owe him anything!

I'm not sure how to get his name removed from the car ownership, however if he ever decided to pursue a court action you can provide paperwork that he didn't financially contribute to the vehicle.

Maybe some other members might be able to provide better insight.

Count your blessings that you've moved out!

Old 09-11-2009, 01:46 PM
dinkyface dinkyface is offline
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A small thing - cancel the insurance (why are you paying for it?). But first talk with your insurance broker to make sure that you cannot be held liable for someone else driving the car when not insured. Of course he can go out and get his own insurance...
Maybe you can also 'de register' it? - not sure of the implications of that.
I know that doesn't get your vehicle back, but it makes it less useful to him.
Old 09-11-2009, 01:54 PM
high_road high_road is offline
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Thank you to those that have responded thus far. dinkyface, to clarify, it is my vehicle and when I left (now 8mos ago) of course I left with my vehicle and there was absolutely no issue with that. The issue I have is that his name is on the ownership as I requested that done at the dealership when we were planning to be together. The vehicle is with me and has been since I left but he will not sign off of the ownership even though he did not ever own it or put any money into it when I purchased it. So I have insurance on it because I have it and I drive it and most importantly it is my vehicle. I am just not certain my direction at this point due to his new attitude and refusal to sign off unless I pay him off - this is what it basically comes down to.
Old 09-11-2009, 04:00 PM
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billm billm is offline
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If you don't need to dispose of the vehicle, and it is in your possesion, why not just do nothing? To be fair you should see the list you say he is creating, so wait for that and respond accordingly. If in the end you can't agree, just drive the car until it is worth nothing!
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