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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1  
Old 03-24-2022, 08:54 PM
iws2018 iws2018 is offline
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Default Proving cohabitation/cost effective PI?

Based on my research, courts readily accept document-based proof of cohabitation - e.g. joint tax returns or utility bills in two names.

In my case, my ex and her new partner are 1) smart enough to not mix the obvious parts of their affairs (tax returns, utility bills, etc.), and are 2) wealthy enough to afford multiple properties and therefore official separate addresses.

And unlike a tax return that I have the right to get annually, I can't get their utility bills, joint bank account statements or copy of drivers licenses. (and asking the court to order disclosure of those docs is expensive and unlikely)

I spoke with a couple of PIs and yes, they can do several visits to the primary house where the couple lives and document cars being there at night every night.

However, PIs seem to charge 4 hours minimum per visit, each visit being $400-500. All while all I need is a 15 min visit per night, taking a pic/documenting the cars on the driveway (no prolonged period of surveillance). Sure, I'll pay for a full hour or 1.5 hour to cover roundtrip and paperwork. Don't think I need to document ppl coming and going, kids pickups, grocery shopping, etc.

Any thoughts? Any PIs out there in the GTA area who can do this cost-effectively?
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Old 03-24-2022, 09:15 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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Youre going to spend several thousand to show a car parked in a driveway? If they have separate residences that they pay for and have separate accounts it doesnt mean they are cohabitating. And if your ex is intent on keeping ss, they wont be stupid. Not to mention the money you would spend the fight it in court.
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Old 03-24-2022, 09:29 PM
iws2018 iws2018 is offline
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This won't be the only evidence and we are talking about tens of thousands in SS. And this is part of a much larger fight, already in court, so, several extra thousand don't make a material difference in costs, but the outcome does.

The logic would be that if the new partner is regularly staying at the same place => they are cohabiting (vs dating or being friends with separate residences) => it is more likely than not the new partner is contributing to the household expenses. This goes towards the overall SS arguments.
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Old 03-24-2022, 10:02 PM
pinkHouses pinkHouses is offline
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I suppose they were not kind enough to put where they are living on their court papers. Have a process server serve them at their listed residence, fail several times, but then succeed with service at their partners residence. Heck of a lot cheaper than a P.I. and they will fill out an affidavit for you.

I think it would take a lot of visits to do that and the excuses would be easy:
-I am always there on Thursdays
-I only spent a week there, we were trying out the living together thing.
-I leave at 1am and take a cab home
-I just rent there

a PI can run a license plate as per: https://private-investigator-toronto...and-cannot-do/

Maybe they did register their MTO info to the new address.
Do they rent out the other residence? Check the history of advertised listings.


Send a package to them at that address that requires their signature and I.D. at the post office. Afterwards get signature verification. Do this at Christmas.

I have read newspaper stories in Ontario where the PI was attaching a GPS device to the persons car. This would actually show a pattern of staying at one residence. Sounds more reliable than a stakeout.

If you get disclosure for their CC then see where they are doing their groceries every week.

At election time find out their polling station; stake it out. Now this may be the same as their Tax Information and this also sounds hard.

Are all their social media posts not in the other residence.

I have more but.....

I watch way too much T.V.

Last edited by pinkHouses; 03-24-2022 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 03-25-2022, 09:06 AM
arbortrail22 arbortrail22 is offline
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Has it been over 3 years? Don't they have to live/co-habitat outside a marriage for 3+ years or be married for it to count?
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Old 03-26-2022, 12:56 AM
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Janus Janus is offline
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If the spousal support needs based or compensation-based?

Did you have kids together, and did she stay home to raise them? If so, cohabitation likely will not matter at all.
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Old 04-08-2022, 02:05 PM
iws2018 iws2018 is offline
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Quote:
I suppose they were not kind enough to put where they are living on their court papers. Have a process server serve them at their listed residence, fail several times, but then succeed with service at their partners residence.
Doesn't work in my case. They live at my ex's house (who is the party to the proceedings), and the address is on the court papers.
If the ex lived at the new partner's place, then sure, I wouldn't have to jump through hoops to prove cohabitation.

Quote:
I have read newspaper stories in Ontario where the PI was attaching a GPS device to the persons car. This would actually show a pattern of staying at one residence. Sounds more reliable than a stakeout.
The vibe I get from my lawyer is that courts frown upon things like that, and it will overall be damaging to me even if the evidence proves my claim.

Quote:
Has it been over 3 years? Don't they have to live/co-habitat outside a marriage for 3+ years or be married for it to count?
From what I understand, it doesn't matter whether a spousal support claimant is married or in a common law relationship - what matters is whether they are being financially supported by someone else. This goes towards non-compensatory claim.
And the question is proving this cohabitation.

Quote:
If the spousal support needs based or compensation-based?
Yeah I'm very aware of the overall structure of how SS is decided. There are volumes of arguments from both of us on both compensatory and non-compensatory claims, the ex is claiming both. Cohabitation is only one aspect of this, and I know this will only matter for the non-compensatory claim. I'm working on all other aspects too.
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