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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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  #21  
Old 06-07-2013, 10:28 AM
HammerDad HammerDad is online now
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Infidelity is irrelevant in Canadian law when it comes to divorce. Divorce in Canada is no-fault. All infidelity does is reduce the time you are obligated to wait to file for a divorce from 1 year to immediate. Notwithstanding that though, it doesn't sound like you have an evidence. You are just "sure". Why are you "sure"? Do you have some sort of tangible evidence to show that he did, or just a hunch?

Regarding the house, to me, you have a number of hurdles to overcome. While I am not familiar with BC law, the fact that you co-mingled the gift from your parents into a joint asset, muddies the waters as to the ownership of the gift. The fact that he also put monies into the joint asset further muddy it in that you both did the same thing with the same intentions to share in the benefits of those funds.

The fact that you paid the bills will be offset by the fact that he quit his job to look after you. You guys made a joint decision that you each would assume those roles of caretaker and provider for the relationship. It would be patently unfair to your ex to punish him for choosing to care for you instead of continuing to contribute towards the house, after all, you both decided that was what you wanted to do.

IMO, your best argument revolves around getting the gift from your parents excluded. Just know, he gets his monies back as well. The sweat equity he put in the house would be taken into consideration as up-keep and increased value. Once you've each taken your monetary contribution out of the house, you then split the remaining value.

You both muddied the waters when it comes to your contributions to the house, but the amounts are clear. He shouldn't be excluded from the remaining value due to your joint choice that he withdrawal from the work force to care for you. And if you were successful in doing so, I have a feeling you would get hit with spousal support for a long period of time as his career and earning potential suffered due to the decision to care for you instead of further his career.

Edit - I forget another issue that muddies everything is he is on both title and the mortgage. He is an owner of the house and entitled to it value. I would believe you have a very weak claim for all of the equity in the house (minus his $30k or whatever it was).

Also, I don't recall whether he quit his job before or after the house was purchased. If you guys bought the house 9 years ago, he worked for a couple years contributing to the mortgage, then quits to take care of you, well....isn't it reasonable to also contemplate those years he contributed?

But anyway, I have a feeling a judge would find that not equalizing the house would likely be unjustly enriching one party and to do so would be unreasonable given the circumstances.

Last edited by HammerDad; 06-07-2013 at 11:05 AM.
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  #22  
Old 06-07-2013, 10:46 AM
DowntroddenDad DowntroddenDad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phaydra View Post
he got half the house?? my mind is reeling! how could this happen! im sick he's not! if he went out and got more jobs he could up his income, but he's claiming only minimal earnings for last years taxes. i think he's hiding money.
Make him a fair offer which gives him back the money he sunk into the house, and the value of his renovation work. Then you see where you stand. He may ask for his share of what the increase in the value would be, and that would be fair, but assessing a percentage(20% of the increase? 50% of the increase) would be negotatiated.

The house doesn't have anything to do with whether you are sick or not.

If he took care of you, to the detriment of his earning potential, then he can claim spousal support.
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  #23  
Old 06-07-2013, 11:35 AM
FightingForFamily FightingForFamily is offline
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Divorce (and the common law equivalent) is one of the worst things to confront, both emotionally and financially. You should each assume you will lose, at the VERY minimum, 10 years worth of finances. I lost everything I had accumulated my entire adult life, and in addition, am paying so much support that I will not even begin to be able to rebuild my finances for years to come. I may not be able to afford a home on my own ever again.

90% of the time houses are sold and split. You should accept this right away. Your partner gave up years of career and earning potential for you, and now that requires accountability. You must pay him back for the sacrifices he made. Recent behaviour aside, it sounds like he did a lot of things for you and invested a lot into your relationship. He will be compensated for it to some degree.
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  #24  
Old 06-08-2013, 06:18 PM
OrleansLawyer OrleansLawyer is offline
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that even though he is on the mortgage and title but didn't pay anything, the house is legally mine.
Title is title. It is the legal way of writing, in big block letters, "I own all or part of this". There is no magic way around it. It doesn't matter if you are in a relationship, married, related, or complete strangers.

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im on disability, i can't work, he can! surely that entitles me to keep the house
That is an issue related to support, not equalization.

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My lawyer has been telling me that i have rights to the whole house based on that section.
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Location: bc
In Ontario, the mingling of your inheritance in the house would remove its excluded status. Many (most?) posters on this forum appear to be from Ontario, and so there will be a large sample bias on the advice you will receive.

Family law is different from province to province. Legal advice from a lawyer in BC would be the best way to address your issues.
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  #25  
Old 06-09-2013, 03:52 PM
phaydra phaydra is offline
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I just found out he filed a certificate of pending litigation on the house and a notice of family claim. he is going for spousal support. he wants the maximum for five years. I don't think i'll ever get this man out of my life! how can i make this as clean as possible. i don't want to be paying him for the next five years! also, I didn't know about the cpl. My lawyer told me it's a first come first serve basis. does this mean when we sell the house that he gets paid out first? im really frusterated with my lawyer. He should have told me about this and I would have filed one first. But he also says it may work in my favour because he's the one who started the action in court?so i can go for costs?
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  #26  
Old 06-09-2013, 04:09 PM
standing on the sidelines standing on the sidelines is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phaydra View Post
I just found out he filed a certificate of pending litigation on the house and a notice of family claim. he is going for spousal support. he wants the maximum for five years. I don't think i'll ever get this man out of my life! how can i make this as clean as possible. i don't want to be paying him for the next five years! also, I didn't know about the cpl. My lawyer told me it's a first come first serve basis. does this mean when we sell the house that he gets paid out first? im really frusterated with my lawyer. He should have told me about this and I would have filed one first. But he also says it may work in my favour because he's the one who started the action in court?so i can go for costs?
First off I am going to tell you something you may not like, your lawyer promise you the moon but its a judge who will decide. Dont count your chickens before they hatched when it comes to costs.

What you need to do is do all the number crunching that needs to be done. You may as well face the truth, he will get something out of the house. As for SS that is hard to say but he did look after you for a number of years when he could of been out in the workplace.
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  #27  
Old 06-09-2013, 04:21 PM
HappyDays HappyDays is offline
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I think it's more reasonable that he would get awarded costs.

You admit he invested into the house and renovated it, plus he's on title and mortgage, but you don't want to give him any equity.

You admit he gave up his career to care for you and that you make 3x what he does, but you don't want to give him any spousal.

People on disability still pay equalization, spousal, and everything else...
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  #28  
Old 06-09-2013, 08:43 PM
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Rioe Rioe is offline
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Don't think that just because he's started litigation court is now inevitable. You can still make him offers to settle and negotiate. He probably doesn't want to go to court either, he just wants you to be fair with him.

He's asking for max spousal support probably because his lawyer convinced him to start high. He will likely accept less. The less equalization you offer, the more spousal I bet he'll want.
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  #29  
Old 06-10-2013, 04:32 PM
DowntroddenDad DowntroddenDad is offline
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Originally Posted by Rioe View Post
Don't think that just because he's started litigation court is now inevitable. You can still make him offers to settle and negotiate. He probably doesn't want to go to court either, he just wants you to be fair with him.

He's asking for max spousal support probably because his lawyer convinced him to start high. He will likely accept less. The less equalization you offer, the more spousal I bet he'll want.
Very wise advise.

Many people in these situations start off with what we call "Blue Sky" bargaining tactics. If you ask for everything, you may not get everything but you might get something.

He probably has a reasonable claim on some equity and some support. Make him a reasonable offer, point out the costs of court, and hope for the best. If you can give him enough equalization/equity he might relent on spousal support ( a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush).
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  #30  
Old 06-14-2013, 02:20 PM
phaydra phaydra is offline
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This claim he gave me doesn't make sense. he says hes only asking for half the house, but this is what he put in the family claim notice. can someone tell me what this means in english? it looks like hes asking for the same thing three times, and that he wants the whole house? under orders he put:

1)declaration that the respondent hold her interest in the property in trust for the claimant.
2) in the alternative, for a determination of the interest of the claimant in the property held by the respondent and a declaration that the respondent hold the interest of the claimant in trust for the claimant.
3) In the alternative, for a declaration of the interest of the claimant in the property held by the respondent and a declaration that the respondent holds the interest of the claimant in trust for the claimant.

what does holding in trust mean? is he saying he wants the whole thing now? and does this mean he wants to stay on the title and mortgage? He said he wanted to sell and now i get this...does this mean he doesn't want to sell now?
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