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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 06-28-2008, 08:26 PM
retireat50 retireat50 is offline
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Default Another Alberta question re: home equity

My girlfriend and I have been dating for 3 years now. She has lived at my home for the past 2 of those 3 years. In Alberta my understanding is that common law relationships are governed by the Alberta Interdependent Act. Accordingly after 3 years we are deemed to be in a common law relationship. Being the paranoid type, my concern is over my house. I purchased my home about 6 years ago. Three years ago my home was worth approximately $250,000 and I had a mortgage of $50,000 on the home for net equity of $200,000. My home is now likely worth $400,000 due to the Alberta boom and the mortgage is paid off resulting in an equity increase of $200,000. My concern of course is that in the event our relationship ended, would she be entitled to any portion of the equity increase? In reading the act, it states that the individual holding assets going into the relationship will retain the asset in the event of break up. However it also states that there might be an interest by the other party if they contributed to the household.

My girlfriend did pay $300 a month to me - this was simply to help with the cable, internet, utilities, property tax, phone, etc as all bills are in my name and we didn't think it was fair for me to pay for everything when she was using 1/2 of that stuff. Groceries were split 50/50 I'd say although we had no formal arrangement. Household chores were evenly split. The only improvements to the home were painting of the first floor which she helped me with but that took a grand total of maybe 20 hours. The house of course is in my name. It would seem extremely unfair to me that she would be entitled to the increase in home value given that I paid the home off in full during my 6 year ownership and took on all the risk of home ownership. Turn the tables around and assume that my home decreased in value - would she then have to owe me the decrease in equity? Of course not. Also in Alberta she would be paying minimum $800 a month for a 1 bedroom apartment and it certainly would not be as nice as my home. Can anyone determine if this is something I should be worried about? As mentioned, she has been living with me for 2 years but we have been dating for 3 years. Would 2 years be enough to entitle someone to a significant portion of the value of my home?
Old 07-03-2008, 08:46 AM
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welcome to the forum...

You might night receive much response to your post as for the most part people here are familiar with Ontario situations and it appears that Alberta law will prevail in your circumstance. Have you searched the Alberta Law data base?

Just a thought

Old 07-03-2008, 01:57 PM
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A link to the Alberta family law act.
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