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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 01-13-2010, 02:09 PM
babyblue babyblue is offline
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Default Need Advice on Common Law Separation

I am seeking some advice on a common law separation. Here's the situation...
Girlfriend of over 20 years moved out in January 2009. We have no children. The house we lived in was willed to me (solely me) in my mother's estate 5 years ago. We agreed that I would pay her cell phone bill and keep her on my medical benefits through my employer for a year and she could take anything from the house that belonged to her and I gave her the truck and left myself with a leased vehicle which has now been turned back over to the dealership because I couldn't afford it and I now drive an old "beater" that I bought after she moved out. I also agreed to not hold her responsible for out joint line of credit which is a five figure debt. This agreement was between us and we never went through lawyers. Now, a year later, she wants me to continue to keep her on my medical benefits because, in the past six months she has been perscribed medications that are costly and she does not have benefits through her work. She also wants me to give her a small sum of money every month to help her out financially. She works full time and makes almost as much money a month as I do. She lives in an apartment in which utilities are included in her rent. She is in better financial shape than I am because she doesn't have a vehicle payment, is not paying on the line of credit, and is not faced with utility bills and property taxes.
I am wondering how long after she moved out can she "go after me" for a settlement and continue to want things from the house? She moved out a year ago now. I have quit paying her cell phone bill as per our original agreement, would like to take her off my medical benefits, and I don't feel that I can afford to contribute to her financial well being. I would like to know more about my rights on this before I take her name off the line of credit. Any advice is appreciated!!!
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Old 01-13-2010, 03:18 PM
sava123 sava123 is offline
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The house is your (you inherited) but how long you living in this house? Is it before you inherited? Did you pull the assets to pay mtg, utilities and ets. Line of credit – is it collateral under house or just personal? Since it’s joint both of you have responsibilities to pay for it…
the only thing she can get is a spousal support, since it was a long term relationship it can be indefinite… you are saying that yours salaries about the same don’t think she can get any of support or it will be just nominal.
her claim for spousal support should be made within one year after you separate (although the deadline may be extended because your has continued to provide financial support after you separated) fficeffice" />>>

Last edited by sava123; 01-13-2010 at 03:44 PM. Reason: more information
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Old 01-13-2010, 03:48 PM
sava123 sava123 is offline
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It's depend of Province you live...
Generally, if one spouse or partner supported the other during their relationship, that spouse will be expected to contribute to the support of the other after the relationship breaks down. On the other hand, if both partners were financially independent when together, then in general, neither will have to pay financial support to the other after they separate.
In some cases, though, a spouse may be entitled to support even if they were not financially dependent on the other spouse. This support is called “compensatory spousal support” and is sometimes ordered where a spouse has been financially disadvantaged as a result of the marriage/relationship.
How is the amount of spousal support determined?
Once it’s been determined that a spouse or partner should receive spousal support, then the court decides the amount of support (or the lawyers agree to the amount) based on several factors, including:
  • the financial situation of each spouse
  • the needs of each spouse
  • the lifestyle and standard of living the couple enjoyed before they separated
Generally, efforts are made to try to ensure that spouses have a similar standard of living after their relationship ends.
Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines are available to calculate appropriate ranges for the amount and duration of spousal support that should be paid.
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:57 PM
babyblue babyblue is offline
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We live in Ontario. We lived in this house with my mother and after she passed away it was left to me with no mortgage payment. It is a small older home worth less than $100,000. I have always paid all the utilities and taxes on the property. She continues to work at the same job that she had before we separated and her income is not much less than mine. My question is... should I be expected to keep her on my medical benefits and cover her meds that she has started to take since we've separated? And given the fact that our incomes are similar, since my monthly expenses with utility bills and taxes for my home, and our joint personal debt that I am paying off, are much higher than her monthly expenses can I be expected to pay spousal support? Her lifestyle is no different now than it was when we were together. If anything hers has improved and mine has not. I used to drive a newer vehicle that I leased but can't afford that anymore and now I'm driving an old car that I picked up to get me back and forth to work while she is driving the more dependable truck that I gave her as part of our separation agreement. I'm wondering about the time line here. Can she come after me for spousal support after having moved out a year ago?
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:30 AM
billiechic billiechic is offline
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So you have a separation agreement? Did you address spousal support in it? Without information about it it is hard to comment.

She is lucky that she is still being covered by benefits. Most companies will cancel the policy as soon as separation occurs. However, does it cost you anything to leave her on it?

Have you made any attempt to negotiate? If your SA does not address any of this then maybe you could offer to leave her on your benefits as long as possible ( to help her) but not pay her any support. If your incomes are close you are not likely required to support her anyway.
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:14 PM
babyblue babyblue is offline
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We had a separation agreement but it was just something that she had written down on paper a year ago stating what she would like and I agreed. We didn't feel the need to go through the court system and gain a large legal bill from that. Everything that I agreed to pay for was for a year. Now that the year anniversary is here she wants more. I guess I just feel like the wanting will never end and I now have someone else in my life and I would like to get on with it. My question is, from a legal stand point, can I be forced through the courts to keep her on my medical benefits at work? Or since she was previously covered by my plan can I be forced through the courts to pay for her medical expenses if she is no longer covered by my plan? She was financially independant for the most part when we lived together as she worked full time and still does. We did live in this house together with my mother before she passed away. Does that make a difference? I was told that because it was willed to me it is concidered an inheritence and she can't touch it. The only thing she can claim is any money of hers that she has put into the house. Since I paid all the bills and upkeep for the property over the years she has nothing to go back on me for. Is that true?
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:39 AM
standing on the sidelines standing on the sidelines is offline
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this is my take on it, you and her moved in with your mother and the house was later willed to you by your mother (legal will??) then you paid all costs realated to upkeep and normal bills asscociated wtih the house. I think the house is yours.

If she wants to go back on the agreement that she made then make a list of the debts she left you with, the value of the truck she got when she left, any extra money that you have had to pay for family coverage at work and so forth. Show her the list. Tell her if she doesn't live up to her end of the agreement she wrote down a year ago that you will go after half the value of the truck and she will have to pay half the value of the debts.

Other then that live up to the agreement as it was written, if you ony cover her for a year and the year is over then stop the coverage, there is no court order saying that you have to continue. To be nice give her some options she can look at like private insurance, she can tell the dr she wants generic drugs etc.

Hope I have helped.
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:03 AM
sava123 sava123 is offline
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I am agree with quote. Regards
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