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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 100372
Experience:  Lawyer
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I am recently seperated from my common law wife, (october

Customer Question

I am recently seperated from my common law wife, (october 28). We got married in Taiwan 5 years ago however we never finalized some paperwork to make it a legal marriage. Together we have 2 beautiful daughters. While together we bought a house. Since she could qualify for a mortgage on her own....the titles is under her name. Over the years we renovated 75% of the house. We bought the house for 205000 (170000 still owning) and now is worth approx. 350000. (180000 or equity)
She did not want to give me any of the equity of the house stating that i never were on the mortgage and never contributed to the household expense. She paid for the mortgage and utilities. While my money went towards the renovations, vehicles, insurance, travels, food, taxes, child care and so on.
I do understsand that as common rights are similar as being married.
As of november first I started giving her 700( including the insurance cost of the house and her vehicle.
I am still living on the premisses.
Her brother and his wife and 2 kids are living in the house paying 500. (he lived with us for just about 1 full year without paying any rent. As of april, his wife and 2 kids from china moved into the house...and slowly brought there rent to 500 per month. a nutshell...this is the situation. We are on talking terms and now need to figure out how to move forward.
1. what are my rights?
2. any suggestions for future negotiations.
3. Would a mediator be of any help in this case? ( she suggested )
I asked to get 50000 and i will pay child support according to the ontario child support laws.
She refused stating...i have no rights to the house.
Perhaps i wrote enough to get an idea and get the ball rolling.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

What province are you in please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry for the delay. There is some glitch with the site and my very lengthy answer has disappeared.

I am going to do the answer again but will post by paragraph in case this happens again.

I will let you know when I am done.

Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

You are not correct in terms of your understanding of the law. I Ontario common law spouses do have the same spousal and child support rights and obligations that legally married spouses have. And custody has nothing to do with whether there is a marriage or not.

Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

But common law spouses do not have the same property rights that legally married spouses do in Ontario.

As the house is in your spouse's name she is presumed to be entitled to the full value of the house.

But you can rebut that presumption if you can show that you contributed to the value of the house. So you would have to show that you contributions (financial or through effort) increased the value of the house.

Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

I suggest (urge you in fact) to consult with a family lawyer face to face as your next step. Family law is highly complex and even family lawyers retain their own lawyers to deal with family law matters.

Mediation may work but it best to mediate while be represented by your own lawyer.

So, to get the ball rolling you should consult with a family lawyer and retain the lawyer to send your spouse a letter asking her to retain a lawyer so that the two lawyers can begin to assist you both in resolving the issues.

I am done for now.

Please let me know if you need any further clarification.

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