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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1  
Old 08-23-2011, 09:08 AM
cdstein cdstein is offline
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Default Common Law - Pension Question

Greetings. My common law partner of 17 years and I are separated and going through the motions of splitting up assets, selling the house, etc. I was the major breadwinner in the realtionship ($100k+) while she did work (~45k / year) up until our kids were born 4 years ago. She will be going back to work within the next few months and I expect her to return to a job of $40k to $50k per year. I had been contributing to her RRSP (spousal) for years and she and I are nearly equal.

I had received a pension contribution from my past companies which has been rolled into a LIRA and I currently have a RPP with my employeer (total is about $60k). Given a common law realtionship I didn't think that she was entitled to my pensions but I would like clarification. Is she entitles to half?

We are civil and working through this ourselves and quite civil with each other. She has went to a couple lawyers and got terrible advice...conflicting, wrong, etc hence my request for assistance.
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:49 AM
LakeErie LakeErie is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdstein View Post
Greetings. My common law partner of 17 years and I are separated and going through the motions of splitting up assets, selling the house, etc. I was the major breadwinner in the realtionship ($100k+) while she did work (~45k / year) up until our kids were born 4 years ago. She will be going back to work within the next few months and I expect her to return to a job of $40k to $50k per year. I had been contributing to her RRSP (spousal) for years and she and I are nearly equal.

I had received a pension contribution from my past companies which has been rolled into a LIRA and I currently have a RPP with my employeer (total is about $60k). Given a common law realtionship I didn't think that she was entitled to my pensions but I would like clarification. Is she entitles to half?

We are civil and working through this ourselves and quite civil with each other. She has went to a couple lawyers and got terrible advice...conflicting, wrong, etc hence my request for assistance.
I think in Common law what is yours is yours and what is hers is hers to keep. I don't think she is entitled to share your pension or RRSP.
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:24 AM
lorlaman lorlaman is offline
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Default

She can claim for constructive trust. Although CL should only look at SS and CS, the courts are treating CL more and more like a marriage.
See case law issues on CanLII.
Remember, all is fair in love and war.
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:22 AM
raven70 raven70 is offline
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Default Prove she made a contribution

My lawyer informed me that the only way a CL partner could make a claim
on the pension was 1) if you promised it to her 2) If she or he can prove
that they made a contribution to it.

Married or Common Law and pensions, different Rules.

Not the case with SS however.

Luck, Raven
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:29 AM
sava123 sava123 is offline
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Default common law assets

She is entitles to spousal support since your salary twice higher than hers, child support, part(up to 50%) of yours pension ( you accumulated during 17 years)
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:37 AM
cdstein cdstein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sava123 View Post
She is entitles to spousal support since your salary twice higher than hers, child support, part(up to 50%) of yours pension ( you accumulated during 17 years)
I realize that I will pay child and spousal support...no issue there. You are stating that she is also entitled to half my pension which is a differing view than others have posted give this was a common law relationship and the pension contributions were made by my company solely to me - no contributions made by either me or her.

Can you please explain if giving her half my pension (LIRA and RPP) is just your opinion or are you basing it on legal fact?
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:10 PM
lorlaman lorlaman is offline
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You have to check with your pension plan company and how they treat a "spouse". If they use the "spouse as defined in the FLA" she has no claim to your company pension. I the wording is different, you may be on the hook. Ask them.
As far as the CPP goes and RRSP's, you may be on the hook. As far as I know, my ex will get half of my CPP.

Check other threads regarding this especially a case law in Nova Scotia where company pension was not awarded.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:13 PM
sava123 sava123 is offline
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Default Division of Pension Benefits Package

This information package provides a summary of the division of pension benefits process upon marriage or common-law breakdown as provided for under the Pension Benefits Division Act (PBDA). It is intended for pension plan members under the Public Service Superannuation Act (PSSA) and their spouse or former spouse/common-law partner. It is for information purposes only. In the event of any discrepancies between the content of this package and the PBDA and its associated regulations, the latter will prevail.
The PBDA came into force on September 30, 1994 and provides a mechanism for the division of pension benefits upon marriage or common-law relationship breakdown. The eligible applicant has to apply for a division of pension and produce a Court Order or written Agreement providing for a division of pension benefits. Pension benefits can be divided as part of the division of family assets to a maximum of 50 percent of the value of the pension benefits accumulated during the period of cohabitation

Regards
  #9  
Old 08-23-2011, 04:20 PM
sava123 sava123 is offline
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Default continue;

As long as she can prove that you were a “joint family venture" - new ternin since Feb 18th, 2011 - landmark Family Law Decigion on Unjust Enrichment Claims and Remedies - Supremne Court : Vanasse v.Sequin and Kerr v.Baranov - please take a look... sorry to be one who brings bad news
Regards
  #10  
Old 08-24-2011, 12:44 AM
lorlaman lorlaman is offline
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Default Public Service Superannuation Act

This is for Public Service Employees and not for every pension plan.
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