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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 101395
Experience:  Lawyer
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My boyfriend and I have lived together year and

Customer Question

Hi, my boyfriend and I have lived together for a year and a half now. I own the house and it is in my name only. He essentially pays me $1000 /mnth rent. He came into our relationship with a large amount of debt due to his divorce. That debt was incurred prior to our relationship. We have no joint credit cards or bank accounts. My questions are: Am I tied or obligated to his past debt? If our relationship ends is he entitled to any of my assests? What should I be doing to protect myself in case this relationship were to ever break up?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
What province is this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
In Ontario common law spouses do not have property rights.That means you do not share in the value of assets simply because you were common law spouses. You also don't share in the value of debts. If one spouse contributes to the value of an asset of the other then that spouse may have a claim to an interest in that asset. If he is only paying fair market value rent that would not be a contribution to the value of the home.There could be a support obligation as common law spouses do have the same rights and obligations that legally married spouses do when the relationship ends.To protect yourself with respect to support and also to make it clear about the assets it would be best to have a cohabitation agreement.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the reply a few more ?- Where would I find a copy of a cohabitation agreement example? Is that something you can assist with? As for support payment I make less than he does - does that mean that he would be responsible for paying support to me? What happens if we decide to make additions to the house such as adding a shed and landscaping to the property? If he pays a portion of this should he gain something back for that contribution?
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
There are no samples of cohabitation agreements. Domestic contracts such as cohabitation agreements, marriage contracts, and separation agreements are highly complex and have very serious consequences. For this reason, in most cases a domestic contract in Ontario would be set aside if it is not done correctly and if you both do not have independent legal advice. If your spouse is supporting you during your relationship then he very well may have to provide you with spousal support if your marriage breaks down. If your spouse pays for renovations to your home and what he pays works out to be more than what he would be paying for fair market value rent for your home then he may successfully be able to claim an interest in your home.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
How is it calculated as per what my partner invests into renovations to what he is entitled to in interest?
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
The Court would look at what he paid and then what he would have to pay in rent for a fair market rent and then consider the difference and add this all up and then compare that to what you put in. If he put 10% of what you put in he would be entitled to 10% of the equity for example.