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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 09-29-2009, 10:41 AM
manipulatedtodeath manipulatedtodeath is offline
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Default complicated property situation

I lived common law and we have 3 children together. We own a house together and lived there as a family for two years. When we seperated, the house was rented out to tenants as we were living out of province. 14 months after we split up we agreed that i would move back into the home. I have lived in this home with our children for the last 12 years. This was in agreement with him, that I would pay for everything and and raise the children there. Both of our names are still on title. I pay all of the mortgage payments, insurance, property taxes and all other costs to do with the house. He has contributed approximately $3500.00 over the last 12 years towards repairs. 2 years ago, he decided that he didn't want the responsibility of being a co-owner of this older home that needed quite a bit of work. At the time I had been trying to work out a deal with him to replace the 40+ year old furnace that needed to go. He didn't want to have anything to do with the house after that. He offered me a buyout for his original down payment of $2500.00 plus I would pay the legal fees. We were in agreement to this, but I had to wait to get approval for the mortgage transfer to just my name. As I am self employed, and don't have a large income, it is difficult to get mortgage approval, and we agreed that I would have until spring/2010 to get this taken care of. In the meantime, I have replaced the furnace system, which died last winter, and done many repairs on the house.
He has always paid the court awarded support amount from 12 years ago on time. This amount was based on $45000/yr for his income. He does not contribute to extra curricular items that would fall under section 7. We have not ever had an increase in support and I have requested his assistance with the section 7 expenses almost every year. He has always claimed that "he has no money". I have also requested that we renegotiate the terms of our support on many occasions and asked for his income statements, but this was always met with an "I don't have to tell you anything and I don't have any money" response. Our children, who are now aged 16, 14, and 12, are involved in many extra curricular activities. The older two were accepted to special high school programs based on their talents and academic achievements. This all costs MONEY, which their father claims he doesn't have.
Last year it came to my attention that he has been making approximately $95000.00 a year for the last several years. While this does not make him rich, it is substantially more than what he was making when our original support order was made. I make about a third of that in comparison. I have been trying to negotiate with him with regards to support and section 7 expenses. Bottom line, is he doesn't want to pay more.
Here is the problem; I sent a proposal to him with regards to changing the support amount and he replied saying that if I go after him for more child support and arrears, he will go after me for half of the equity in the house that is still in both of our names and he will also pursue occupancy rent.
All of our previous discussions, agreements have been verbal, many with witnesses, but verbal nonetheless. I have kept a fairly regular written account of our discussions and my attempts to negotiate with him, but we have nothing in writing with the exception of the original custody/support order.
Can he go back on our verbal agreement with regards to the house and force me to sell it and get half of the equity? I know he is doing this out of spite, as he feels that he shouldn't have to pay more support, and thinks of it as paying ME more. He has always maintained that if I ever took him to court again, that he would quit his job and work under the table and I would get nothing. This is why i have always tried to discuss things with him rather than pursue it through the courts. Now I feel that even though I have continually tried to negotiate with him in good faith, that I am going to get totally screwed if I pursue this in court.
I seriously need to know what my chances are in court. What criteria do they look at when deciding something like this?
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:42 AM
tara tara is offline
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Verbal agreements mean nothing in regards to property. The deed to the house is what is looked at. From what I've read the last thing he wants is to go to court. He sounds like a bully. Bullies crumble when confronted and exposed. Keep records and reciepts of all the maintenance materials and time spent fixing the home. You'll be able to pull the value out of it later if need be. If I was in this situation I would hire a collaborative lawyer to write him a registered letter that asks him to join you at the table to iron out these support issues or you will excercise your legal rights to the full extent of the law. I would then include in the letter what those rights are and exactly what your claim against him will be. This man sounds like he's bluffing. Does he really need such a big house? If he's making good money, like you say, real impetous won't be there for him to carry the fight through to the end. I'd say, in a situation like this you need good legal advice.
You've got three great wittnesses -your children. A judge would love to see him in court.
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:31 AM
catchison catchison is offline
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Have the mortgage changed over to you so that you have the full ownership of the house since you have paid for it this seems fair. Once this is done, then have a lawyer send him a formal document requesting that his child support be paid according to the guidelines from that day forward as well as providing you with his notice of assessments for all years he has been paying. Also formally request section 7 expenses.
This may be enough for him to reconsider his threat. You have nothing to lose by doing this and everything to gain. Men who quit their jobs after a court challenge can have income imputed to them and the courts can and do seize assets to pay arrears if necessary. have you registered your agreement with the FRO? Do this after your property is settled as they can then threaten him with loss of license, passport and jail time if he does not settle up.
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