How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ulysses101 Your Own Question
Ulysses101, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 3478
Experience:  11 years experience in Canada family law, plus criminal, civil, and employment
Type Your Canada Law Question Here...
Ulysses101 is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

What is the common law entitlement during separation in

Customer Question

What is the common law entitlement during separation in Ontario?
We lived together for 5 1/2 years.
I supported and encouraged him when we first met, he was facing jail time and on welfare. In 5 years he bloomed at motivational speaking and also started a clothing line which we both operated. He has a difficult background which I understand but I can't keep putting myself in harms way...I finally had enough.
The guy just bought himself a brand new car....I drive a 12 year old car with broken air conditioning. He rented a brand new condo overlooking lake Ontario in Toronto for $2000 rent and I had to move a family into the home we rented together because I can't afford the $1700 on my own.
This is a hard left turn and I need some cross over time to get solid on my own. He says what's his is his and that if I earned the money he wouldn't want any of it. : (
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 11 months ago.

Hello, thank you for the question.

So you lived together for 5 1/2 years, that certainly counts as common law. By most definitions, a commonlaw relationship in ontario begins when a couple cohabits in a spousal relationship for three years, or immediately upon cohabitation if they have a child together.

So you'd certainly be treated as commonlaw by the court.

Property division is rather open ended in a commonlaw relationship. Unlike in the dissolve of a marriage, there are no automatic rights to any property owned by the other in a commonlaw relationship. However if you have contributed to the value of property owned by your former partner, either monetarily or by other contribution, then you can make a claim on that value. So if he started a successful company while you were together and you helped, you should be entitled to a share in its value. Of course, it depends on the nature of your contribution, so it comes down to the facts.

Spousal support is also certainly on the table after 5 1/2 years of cohabitation. You could go to to get access to a free version of the spousal support guidelines. Play with the figures, enter the basic information, and see what results you get. There will be a range of amounts and durations of spousal support, which a judge will also look at as a guide.

Making a property claim after a commonlaw relationship can be complicated. I strongly encourage you get the help of a family law lawyer, so please find one near you and make an appointment. If you don't know any personally or by reputation then ask family and friends for a recommendation, or go to, or to the Law Society of Upper Canada's website for its Lawyer Referral Service.

Is that a good start? I'll await your question or comment. If I've answered you fully then I'd appreciate a positive service rating please.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you! My contribution to the clothing line was significant. Plus I designed a logo and he tweaked it. that logo is still being embroidered on the clothes today.
He was the sales end of things and me receiving and shipping, except vending events, we both did those and I also did them on my own. He is incredibly controlling and has on occasion taken back a cheque he has written me (financial abuse)
I am still responsible for orders coming in, and shipping. I have backed away from vending events and now I have backed away from booking them for him as well. The only thing I will do is receive orders, order for them, take the clothes 40mins out of town for embroidery and shipping both at Canada Post and Greyhound. With my decline and participation the momentum and orders have declined significantly. I watched this clothing line go around the world in 9 months it's completely bananas. It has mad potential but I can no longer contribute my enthusiasm or passion towards something that causes me such mental anguish. I don't want to be a part of the company at all but he has not bothered to replace me or take all the shelving or stock out of my living room. That's another thing...I gave up a big chunk of my living room for the company shelving, stock and table.
He pays me $250 a week and skips weeks here and there whenever he feels it hasn't been busy. This is his message to me regarding my frustration....
In the end I understand that yes, I'm in a better financial position than you and as a result of busting my ass constantly, have a nice apartment to call home. I work hard. I put my all into everything I do. In order for me to make this income, i do what I don't like to do and that's okay. It's the price I have to pay to succeed.
If you worked as hard as I do travelling, catching flights, putting together seminars, delivering full day workshops, vending events afterward, filling out orders and processing them, etc. I'd have mad respect for you and your success. I wouldn't feel entitled to any of your income, your earnings or anything of yours because I'd know it was rightfully yours that you worked hard for.
I know I've given you your fair share considering we have been together for a long time. I've kept records of the money you've made from Proud To Be (much more than I have) and the money I've given you multiple times in thousand dollar increments, the vehicle, the edit suite, the furniture, the bed, the computer, the lap top, the shopping trips, the increase in your credit limit, the jobs I've gotten you, the nice house many people would love, and so much more. I've given given given and in the end, you are angry at me because I haven't given you enough. I don't get it. I really don't. Your choice to get a room mate was your decision and not mine. I gave you 5000 to help cover lease costs for a year and I have pledged to give you another 5000 in the future.
Yes I agree you helped me out financially for the first few months but I've done more than enough to help you too. I've let you know if you ever need a friend again I'll be there.
- The thousand dollar increments was his half of the rent to the end of the lease we both signed, that went directly to the landlord. He did offer to give me $10,000 However with a budget of $3000 a month that gives me a whopping three months to get on my feet. I am on an immediate budget of $2000 it's a very difficult transition from having financial freedom to budgeting.
- $3400 12 yr old vehicle compared to his 2015 ride and this while we were still together
- computer, furniture, bed...all things we got while we were together. If I was treated as an equal I would have bought my own computer without being in a father daughter scenario where he has to buy for me. Same with shopping trips. I got only when he was with me to pay.
- increase in credit limit is because he has no credit and he uses my credit card for the clothing company. As a result of so much action on my account they gave me an increase.
- he is a motivational speaker and I am a videographer so he mentions hiring me at his events. Ultimately I don't like working with him anyway...he is an incredibly difficult client and speaks to me in a demeaning manor and his level of perfection is ridiculous. I've worked with a lot of people in my 15 years as a shooter but none as difficult as him.I will go to my support calculator and thanks for that tip however I don't know how much he has. I do know it's a lot. He for sure is in the thousands and I immediately have to hover around overdraft on my budget. It's absolutely mind boggling the way he thinks....and he says he doesn't understand? ugh
My counsellor read the same message I just gave you and he asked if he was for real and called him a narcissist. He also gave me hell and told me to stop being a doormat : ( sigh
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi sorry I guess I wasn't specific enough in my rambled response..this stuff is close to me and I apologize.So if he started a successful company while you were together and you helped, you should be entitled to a share in its value. Of course, it depends on the nature of your contribution, so it comes down to the facts.
I did share those facts above and was curious about a response having shared the specifics?
Keep in mind he put the clothing line company under a subsidiary of his motivational speaking company which he incorporated as another further protection precaution.
With all that on the table am I still entitled to a share in it's value or is it untouchable?Also I went to my support calculator it was not that user friendly and I got nowhere, do you have another site or suggestion for that?Thanks so much
Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 11 months ago.

Hello, I see that this question thread is still open. I'm very sorry that you have been left hanging. I was personally pulled away from the site for a few days after I initially replied to you. Usually when I'm away for more than 24 hours, another expert will pick up the thread for me. No one did this time.

You've written a lot on August 3, and I haven't read it yet. Should I? Would you get value in continuing our discussion at this point?

If you'd rather not, perhaps you've consulted with your own lawyer by now, then that's fine. I see that you're not on a subscription and you thus have deposited money to the site in order to start this thread. You can get that money back by contacting customer service.

Shall we continue or do you no longer wish my input on your issue?


Customer: replied 11 months ago.
It would be great if you could answer the question please.
Your initial response informed me of something I was not aware of.
Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 11 months ago.

I'm back, I'm very sorry about how our discussion has progressed. I was away from the site for nearly two weeks. It looks like the site assumes that a customer who is left hanging will "opt out" and find a new expert.

But if you want to proceed, we still can. We've discussed a lot here, what exactly was the question? Asking about common law rights in Ontario is a little vague.

If you've already got help elsewhere then that's good. If you want your deposit refunded (if you're not on a subscription), I could ask the site to do that for you.

How would you like to continue?


Related Canada Law Questions