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Copperlaw, Lawyer
Category: Canada Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2016
Experience:  Barrister and Solicitor Retired cop Crisis Negotiator Drug Expert
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After 6 plus years in commonlaw relationship are both parties

Customer Question

after 6 plus years in commonlaw relationship are both parties entitled to equal share of debt and matrimonial home?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Canada Family Law
Expert:  Copperlaw replied 2 years ago.
The legal entitlements, if any, from the breakdown of a common-law relationship, depend upon the laws of the Province in which you reside.
Please let me know what Province you are in and I can provide you with the information you are looking for.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
i reside in the province of Ontario
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Still waiting for response
Expert:  Copperlaw replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information.
There is a significant difference in Ontario law between the rights of a married couple and the rights of a common-law couple.
Where married couples have equal rights to all assets and property of the marriage, common-law couples do not. At its simplest, common-law couples only have the right to property which is in their name or that they can show ownership of, often through receipts for purchase and such. As for debt, each person would be responsible for debt in their own name, such as credit cards for example. If there were joint purchases or joint bills paid for on a credit card, the cardholder would still be responsible for these but could seek compensation from the other party through the court if they could prove their indebtedness.
As for the home, there is no legally defined "matrimonial home" in a common-law relationship. Where a married couple have equal rights to the value in the matrimonial home, regardless of who made more, who contributed more or who owned it prior to marriage, the "ownership" rule applies to common-law relationships. If one party is on title as the homeowner in a CL relationship, then they have all of the rights in the home. The only equalization that a non-owner party could realize from the home in a CL relationship would be if they contributed to major improvements in a home, thus increasing the value and could show their contribution such as through receipts. This would generally be the only time any monies would be owed to a non-owner CL partner from the value of the home to avoid the owner being "unjustly enriched" by the non-owner's contribution.
Here is a good summary of common-law relationship rights in Ontario.
I hope that this information is of assistance to you.
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