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Common Law Separation

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Anonymous Asked:

My partner and I lived together for 9 years in a house I purchased on my own. My name is the only name on the mortgage and I alone put down the down payment. Once we moved in together we split all bills down the middle. Now that we have split up, what is she entitled to as far as equity in the house. She feels she is entitled to half but is she since her name is not on the mortgage and she was not involved in the purchase? I am willing to give her back what she put in and double it. Is that fair or is she really entitled to half the equity?

Expert Comment:

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8 years ago


Since you were not married, the Family Law Act does not apply to you in that there is no automatic division of your property. You are considered a common law spouse.

Having said that, your common law spouse may argue that she added value to the property over time and that she should be compensated.

We cannot comment on whether or not your offer is fair. You should consult with a lawyer as there may be other issues in addition to the ownership of the home that need to be addressed.


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