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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 10-24-2009, 03:15 PM
Dakota Dakota is offline
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Question Trying to Be Reasonable

Hello,

I'd appreciate any thoughts on this situation. Thank you very much for your help.

My partner and I have separated. We were engaged, but mutually agreed to go our separate ways. At the time, she initiated the discussion about our future, as she always has. We have one joint asset: our house. She enabled the purchase by making the down payment and paying for applicable taxes. I have been paying off a loan and had put my savings into paying it down, so I had no savings (save $2000) to contribute; however, my salary was enough to make the majority of the mortgage payment.

She has initiated the sale of the house, but is--on paper--taking all the risk. To make up for that, I offered to share the risk associated with the sale of the house.

Since making that offer, she has added charges and expenses onto the total amount to be 'shared' on the grounds that they were associated with the acquisition of the house. Meanwhile, our discussion and agreement (and my offer) revolved around sharing the risk for the sale of the house, not its acquisition as well.

She has sent me spreadsheets with data, and I have told her--face-to-face--that I don't accept the figures that are included in there.

I don't want this to go to courts, but her in person communication is really aggressive and she shouts and insults me. I suggested that we keep our correspondence in writing because our face-to-face communication is unproductive. In her reply, she started claiming that I had agreed to things which I hadn't.

We happen to know several lawyers, and all of them have come up with the same interpretation of what will happen in court. It won't be good for her. Meanwhile, I'm trying to be fair, and, actually, that doesn't seem to be good enough, which makes me wonder how else to get this resolved quickly. I'd appreciate any thoughts.

Thank you.
  #2  
Old 10-24-2009, 06:33 PM
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wretchedotis wretchedotis is offline
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I would suggest seeking Mediation.
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Old 10-24-2009, 07:07 PM
Dakota Dakota is offline
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Thanks, WO.

That is a good suggestion. It's tough to reach an agreement when the ground keeps shifting.
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Old 10-25-2009, 11:05 PM
strotter1006 strotter1006 is offline
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Mediation is a good option. It is also a good idea to think of this as an business transaction.

Good luck
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:49 AM
representingself representingself is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
Hello,

I'd appreciate any thoughts on this situation. Thank you very much for your help.

My partner and I have separated. We were engaged, but mutually agreed to go our separate ways. At the time, she initiated the discussion about our future, as she always has. We have one joint asset: our house. She enabled the purchase by making the down payment and paying for applicable taxes. I have been paying off a loan and had put my savings into paying it down, so I had no savings (save $2000) to contribute; however, my salary was enough to make the majority of the mortgage payment.
How long have you been living together? I assume you two were living together prior to buying the home? Is your name on the title or mortgage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
She has initiated the sale of the house, but is--on paper--taking all the risk. To make up for that, I offered to share the risk associated with the sale of the house.
You'll have to clarify what 'risks' you are referring to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
Since making that offer, she has added charges and expenses onto the total amount to be 'shared' on the grounds that they were associated with the acquisition of the house. Meanwhile, our discussion and agreement (and my offer) revolved around sharing the risk for the sale of the house, not its acquisition as well.
I assume that you have agreed to split the net proceeds of the sale of the property?

Are you referring to closing costs, legal fees, realtor costs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
She has sent me spreadsheets with data, and I have told her--face-to-face--that I don't accept the figures that are included in there.
Without clarification of the types of data she is presenting you with, I can't really say if she is being legally 'reasonable' or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
I don't want this to go to courts, but her in person communication is really aggressive and she shouts and insults me. I suggested that we keep our correspondence in writing because our face-to-face communication is unproductive.
If the lines of communication have been broken, then you are correct in requesting that your future discussions be 'in writing'. People are much less likely to throw insults onto paper. If you think it is possible that this issue may end up in court, you will need copies of all documentation for your file.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
In her reply, she started claiming that I had agreed to things which I hadn't.
This is 'normal' in these types of situations. Now that you are insisting that all communication be written, she wont be able to accuse you of agreeing to things that you haven't. Unless she can prove these allegations, then I wouldn't waste time worrying about them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
We happen to know several lawyers, and all of them have come up with the same interpretation of what will happen in court. It won't be good for her. Meanwhile, I'm trying to be fair, and, actually, that doesn't seem to be good enough, which makes me wonder how else to get this resolved quickly. I'd appreciate any thoughts.

Thank you.
If you can provide more information about your situation, it would be helpful. As it stands, with common-law relationships, no one has 'rights' to possession of the 'matrimonial home'. Assets that were brought into the union belong to each party respectively.

If she put forward the downpayment, and only her name is on title, you may have had a helluva fight on your hands.

You are definitely able to bring forward a claim against any aquired equity in the home, as well as compensation for work that you did to increase the value of the property.

Do you make substantially more money than she does?

Is she claiming spousal support from you?

There are so many variables, especially with common-law relationships. The laws can be a little vague.
  #6  
Old 11-11-2009, 09:51 PM
Dakota Dakota is offline
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Thanks for answering. It's good to have this help. It's been busy at my end and sorry for not answering your questions sooner. Once again, things have changed.
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