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  #1  
Old 11-21-2009, 07:48 PM
Jeff T Jeff T is offline
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Default common law or not?

my girlfriend and i have been together on and off for 5 1/2 - 6 years. we lived together for 4 years before we broke up so at that point we would have been considered common law because in ontario you have to live together for 3 continuous years to be considered common law. when we broke up she just said it was over, she was done with me and packed up her stuff and the kids and left. we were broke up for 3 1/2 months at which time we both were seeing other people, she even moved in with her new boyfriend. we ended up getting back together and she moved back into my house. we were living together for maybe 1 1/2 years when she recieved a $75,000.00 settlement from a lawsuit she had going on and surprise-surpise she decided to leave me. now she refuses to pay me the $8000.00 she owes me because she says that she thinks she is entitled to half the house which is in my name. i put the whole $18,000.00 down payment and paid the mortgage and property taxes myself. i think when we broke up and she just left that it ended the common law marriage and we haven't been back together long enough to be considered common law again. i want to take her to small claims court to get the money she owes me but i don't want to go to court to try and recover $8000. and end up loosing half my house!

what do you guys think??
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:21 PM
standing on the sidelines standing on the sidelines is offline
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can you prove she owes you the 8000? Are the kids yours?? I am thinking that if the house was totally in your name she has no claim to it
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:07 PM
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there is still $5000.00 owing on my line of credit and i can print off the bank statements that show that the money went to pay off her student loans and creditors that she owed money to from when her and her ex-husband divorsed. the $3000. was a major repair to her minivan and i have the visa bill to prove it but we only had a verbal agreement that she said she would pay me back when she got her settlement money. i guess she could lie in court and it would be her word against mine i guess? the kids are not mine. i was just step-daddy Jeffy.
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Old 11-21-2009, 10:09 PM
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dadtotheend dadtotheend is offline
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$8,000 is a lot of money, but not enough to bother getting into a protracted and potentially costly legal battle. Walk away.
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Old 11-21-2009, 10:26 PM
Jeff T Jeff T is offline
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i'm just talking about small claims court. it shouldn't cost more than a few hundred in court costs.
i just want to make sure that i'm correct to think that the break up a year and a half ago was enough to end our common law marrage. and that us getting back together for a year and a half doesn't make us common law again.
i don't think she has right to take half my house and all the info i've read says she doesn't but she said her lawyer said she is intitled to half?
plus it bothers me to no end to think that i'll be paying off her student loan, her ex-husbands debt and the repairs to the van that she is driving for the next 3years.
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Old 11-22-2009, 08:47 AM
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small claims court is the way to go. If you have the bills etc then that is your proof. You may not get it all but some is better then nothing. She may try to say it was a gift but if she made any payments to you then that will prove that it was a loan.

Once you split for 90 consecutive days (i think) then the common law is over. You start over.
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:19 AM
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I'm not sure how family law handles it, but for Revenue Canada, for the sake of using tax receipts, pension splitting, child tax credit, etc, they won't consider you separated if you get back together within 60 days of the end of the tax year.

You would have to be separated for at least three months, and be separated in Nov and Dec. Then you can file your tax forms as though you were single.

Family law may not follow the same rules, but in this situation you need to be able show that you were separated, you can't just say you were separated. If you are able to show that you filed your taxes as a single person, that you checked the box "Separated", then goes a long way to confirming that what you say is what was true.

Your ex can claim that he moved out temporarily
(speaking to scared1 here), but that there was never any permanent intent to end the relationship and he still considered that the two of you were a couple. Maybe even in his mind that was true, who knows? We all kid ourselves over things.

You have a muddy situation so you have to be able to come up with clear examples showing what happened. If you had a joint bank account and closed it during that time, that would be another good example.
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:43 AM
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Default single with acknowledged child

I am single and have never been married. However I have a child which was acknowledged by his father. I met father of my child, who is married (and has been officially married, but family lived in different country), during my postgraduate study and had 1-2 years of living together (of course with no any legal confirmation). After I got pregnant we decided to separate, however he came to my country and acknowledged his child. We do not communicate now. Now, I am planning to immigrate to Canada and collecting documents. Have problem with filling family background declaration. I do not know if I should state him as my former common law partner (with birth certificate of my child as the only evidence), or should I just state myself as single mother with acknowledged child.

Thank you very much in advance

Last edited by singlemomjapan; 11-22-2009 at 11:47 AM. Reason: mistake
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:00 PM
Mess Mess is offline
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singlemomjapan, after only 1-2 years without a child, you would not be considered common law. You could be considered common law instantly if you were living together with the intent of raising a child you had.

That you split up when you became pregnant pretty clearly shows that there was no intent to live together to raise the child.

This is not to say the man is not responsible, he should be paying you child support. But that is not your question.

You would not have been together in circumstances that would make you considered common law. However it is grey, not black and white, and grey can be argued.

The status of common law might make a difference for you in your immigration? If so, then you should get a proper legal opinion. The immigration authorities will look at this very carefully.
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Old 11-29-2009, 09:04 AM
singlemomjapan singlemomjapan is offline
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Hi Mess,
Thank you for responding to my question.
Hope there will not any problem with immigratin authorities since I am applying under skilled worker category, and thigs like education and job experience should play much greater role. Though I fully agree that my situation is 'grey'.
Thanks!
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