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Tom B.
Tom B., Barrister & Solicitor
Category: Canada Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 78
Experience:  25 years in practice.
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I 't know what I am entitled to in a common law seperatation

Customer Question

I don't know what I am entitled to in a common law seperatation (we were engaged, lived in the same home for over 1 year). I sold my house to move in, and at his/our suggestion quit my job to start a business (as such as the business grew, we lived off his income) now he wants me to leave (I am staying with my sister) and he is in our him with our dog,all my things and our furniture. I also believe he was having an affair. He is a cop ( a well known bully-cop) and I don't know what to do or what i am allowed to ask for.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Canada Family Law
Expert:  Brandon Ament replied 9 months ago.

Hi Celene,

What province are you in?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Alberta
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I feel like I am being bullied
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I don't know my rights
Expert:  Brandon Ament replied 9 months ago.

I suggest that you meet face to face with a family law lawyer in Alberta. He will be able to properly advise you on your rights upon the separation.

I'm sorry that you feel bullied. You should not be pressured into making any sort of decision that can have long lasting effects

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
But am I entitled to anything because we were common law?
Expert:  Brandon Ament replied 9 months ago.

you can contact the Law Society of Alberta at this link http://www.lawsociety.ab.ca/public/lawyer_referral.aspx

You can receive a free 30 minutes consultation with a lawyer

on separation, if you were determined to be in a common law relationship, you are entitled to spousal support but not property rights. However, it is not that straight forward and depending on the facts of your situation a lawyer might be able to assist you in finding a constructive or resulting trust.

Expert:  Brandon Ament replied 9 months ago.

Are you on title to the house that you both lived in or is just his name on title? Did you pay anything towards the house?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I am not on title but we shared joint accounts so all my pay went to wards the mortgage. I also took the money from the sale of my home and put it into our mortage/account. I also deposited $10,000 that I borrowed from my parent sot put into our join account
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
In total I put about $75,000 into our account in the last year
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
He also took the engagement ring back that was appraied at $45,000
Expert:  Brandon Ament replied 9 months ago.

All of that information can help a lawyer determine that you are entitled to a constructive or resulting trust. This is a complicated matter and you need to meet with a lawyer face to face to discuss your situation. This way you can be advised as to your rights and properly receive what is owed to you.

Do not sign anything without receiving independent legal advice.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Am I allowed into the house to pick up my things? I still have a key. Do I need permission?
Expert:  Brandon Ament replied 9 months ago.

As his name is ***** ***** technically it is his house and does not have to let you in. However, that is not a good move for him and he should let you in. It would be best to obtain his permission and do so in an email so you have the written correspondence.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Even though all my things are inside?
Expert:  Brandon Ament replied 9 months ago.

As he is technically the owner on title he does not have to let you in. I would recommend sending an email asking for permission before you go to get your things. You have a good argument that you should be entitled to go get your things but this is something that lawyers could argue over.

It is in your best interest to meet with a lawyer face to face and discuss your situation.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
What do I do in the meantime until I can get an appointment with a lawyer?
Expert:  Brandon Ament replied 9 months ago.

you should communicate with him via email so you have documentation for everything. Send an email asking if you can go inside to retrieve your personal items.

If you call a lawyer today form the law society you should be able to schedule a consultation for early next week.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
does it matter if he was seeing somebody while we were together?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
does it matter if he is a police officer?
Expert:  Brandon Ament replied 9 months ago.

No it doesn't matter if he was seeing somebody and it doesn't matter what his occupation is.

Again, it is in your best interest to meet with a lawyer. This is a complicated matter and you need legal representation to ensure that you receive what you are entitled to.

Expert:  Brandon Ament replied 9 months ago.

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