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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 01-19-2011, 10:33 PM
charlieb charlieb is offline
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Hello all

I had been living with my BF for 2.8 yrs.. of course we did not live the Ontario law of three years to be considered common-law. My BF bought his house in Dec. 2007 and at that time since there was still the zero down mortgage he did not pay anything down other then the lawyer fees and all other fees associated with homebuying. I moved in in Jan. of 2008 and our agreement was that he would of course continue paying the mortgage and my contribution would be half of bills, all the groceries and my money would be used for any activities/travel/fun things we wanted to do as well I would get a line of credit for an amount which we would use towards things we both wanted done to the home and which he did not have the funds to do on his own..of course I agreed as this seemed more then reasonable and was for the betterment of our home and family ( both bought our own daugthers into the relationship).

As we are both military we both make about the same salary. The line of credit was used on a driveway/professional painting of both upstairs and downstairs/landscaping for two years ( as after the first year we decided to tear everything up and redo it)/a large permanent shed/a partial fence / flooring in kitchen and foyer and backsplash in kitchen..as well while I was serving in Afghanistan he used another almost $4K on "things" ( which I never questioned as we were a couple ) of course as he was looking after my banking he paid back so much of the line of credit...using my money . He has since come back from Afghanistan himself and announced he wanted me to move out ( heard he was "friendly with his ex while on tour as she was there as well) I was devestated but did as requested ONCE I secured an agreement on how we were going to split things ( he kept his furniture he bought into relationship..I kept mine.. a trailer we jointly bought is being sold and as for the house we would split the difference of the profit once it sold) He had me go to a lawyer and get our agreement done up legally and he said he would share the cost of paying lawyer to do so. Once the paperwork agreement was drafted he was sent a copy to sign in which he then decided he was not going to sign it..after I paid $600 out of my own pocket to have done...as well he was not going to give me any share of profit and only agreed so so I would move out ( yeah nice guy).

I then had to go to my lawyer with all my receipt proof of what I paid for ( thank-god I had bank drafts of money paid to comapnies out of my line of credit) as well I brought in the past 2.8 yrs of my banking with all items bought for home on top of this I also included my email traffic where we went back and forth on the agreement until we got to the point of both agreeing and where he tells me to go to a lawyer and get paperwork done up and he would pay for half. During this time my lawyer receives correspondance from a lawyer he retained who basically called me a "golddigger who has no right to a claim against his home since I was just a GF who never contributed in any way ( I guess my ex told her that I was just that and did not think I would have any receipts to prove otherwise). So to make a long story short he came back from Afghanistan in Dec. and came home to his lawyer sending him a copy of the letter my lawyer sent her including copies of email agreement between the both of us as well as copies of every receipt for renos I paid into the house and that I would be going to court with a Unjust enrichment case against her client... just before Christmas week my lawyer calls her and she tells him her client did not want to deal with this until the new year....last week His lawyer promptly contacted mine to tell him she decided she was not going to represent him anymore( Can anyone tell me why this would be so?..I am thinking it is due to the fact he mislead her and she got stuck looking like an idiot). So now we have to give him time to find another lawyer and start this all up again...eventually looks like court will be involved as now I am going to ask as well for him to pay all my legal bills ( does anyone know if a judge would award that?)as this could have been done amicable to begin with and now my money is being wasted ( yes I am still the one on the loop for paying the loan while he enjoys the home and all the renos I contributed to)..it is a mess.. I do not think I am being unfair in anyway if anything it is unfair of him to think I would walk away AND still pay of such a debt and for him to make a profit from me..oh yes I was smart enough to have home appraised before I moved..he bought it for 213,500 and now it is worth at least $255,000!.. Your thoughts??
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:40 PM
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Lot of fluff in that post.

How much did you contribute to improvements? I got lost in the irrelevant details but I don't think you mentioned that or how much went on the LOC.

Has the mortgage been paid down much?

How much were the other costs of purchase i.e. land trasnfer tax, legal, CMHC fees? Were they included in your quoted purchase price of $213,500?

On the face of what little relevant facts you posted, it seems you have little or no claim. At best, perhaps you might have a claim to get back the costs of your improvements to the property, but I'm guessing that number is so low ($10K?) as to be not worth paying a lawyer to fight about it.
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:45 PM
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Welcome charlieb. Interesting dilema. Break it down, do the math and include costs in the cause before determining if it's worthwhile pursuing.
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:51 PM
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On the line of credit alone there was 15K spent..then there is all the other contributions as well which I would have to tally up. Sorry about the fluff ( newfie here ) Looking at other claims of a Constructive trust and precedented cases housework/gardening and anything else home related/family related have been claimed and proven and won) I am sure I have a very good case and I have only mentioned really the line of credit being used not everything else contributed as well. If there wasn't much of a case then why would his lawyer even decide to not represent him anymore if she thought so?
My contibutions to the home definitely would add up to ,if not more then what he contributed per month towards the mortgage.
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:53 PM
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Whats the value of an unjust enrichment nowadays.
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:58 PM
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Logicalvelocity:

I am sure it is worth it and my lawyer definitely believes so ( I know I know he is a lawyer.. he would!..lol) I am a single mother and work hard for my money and have sacrificed alot by sending my daughter away for two years to go to Afghanistan ( not looking for sympathy here as I chose my career path) but I will not allow someone with no integrity to take what could have been used for my daughter and now their daughter is benefitting from..seems hardly fair ans I would never expect someone to just hand over money and now be stuck paying off such a loan as I enjoyed the benefits of it... what about the email agreement between us coming to an amicable decision on how things will be sorted and him saying " we have an agreement, you go get paperwork done up by a lawyer and I will pay half of that cost as well" ?
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:59 PM
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it is determined by the judge usually and fromwhat I read they usually decide this on not what was contirbuted but what the value is now.9 short easy to understand version)
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:19 PM
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yeah I see your point. However, Did either consult independent legal advice when engaging in the agreement email. Seems to be just an expectation, rather than contract and not in stone. So far speculation.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:33 PM
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How much do you think your entitled to?
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:21 AM
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That is a tricky one dadtotheend.. I definitely do not think I should get more then I am entitled to..I am a pretty fair person. It was me who got the line of credit as agreed upon and I wholeheartingly let that money be used towards the renos on the house..thus raising its value as he did not have the funds to do so. I would be more then happy with what we first agreed upon amicably between us before he decided to not give me anything back...which was half of the profit made on the house..if that means he makes $30K then I get my $15K.. at moment he is not wanting to give me anything...which is unreasonable for him to expect that. The whole email agreement was started by him and finalized by him..I just did what he asked by going to a lawyer to have it drawn up legal-like and then for him to say forget it I am not giving you anything....of course I should have known what type of person he was after he cruelly dumped two ex-wives.. but everyone thinks "not me"right ..lesson learned.
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